Goffine’s Devout Instructions – Blessings

What is a blessing?

A blessing is that holy act whereby the Church calls down the divine blessing on persons and things.

Why does the Church bless water, salt, and other things?

That the things which she blesses may avail to the spiritual and bodily health of those who use them with devotion.

Is there any warrant in Holy Scripture for this custom?

Yes; we read that Our Saviour Himself blessed little children (Saint Mark x. 16), bread, fish (Saint Matthew 14:19), and other things; and Saint Paul tells us: Every creature of God is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4,6).

The Blessing of Salt and of Water

Holy water is usually blessed every Sunday before Mass.

How is this blessing done?

First the salt is blessed with prayer and exorcism, whereby the influence of the evil spirit is broken and God’s blessing and protection secured for our souls and bodies. Then the water is blessed in like manner. The salt is then mingled with the water in the name of the Triune God, to show that the sprinkling with holy water may preserve us from the corruption of sin.

For what does the Church use holy water?

To sprinkle the faithful, and everything she blesses and consecrates. According to the words of the prayers, the effects of grace should be, cleansing from venial sin and protection of soul and body against the assaults of the evil spirit.

How should we use holy water?

The devout Christian takes holy water not only on entering and leaving the church, but also at home on rising and retiring, going in and going out, and at other times; always beseeching God to cleanse him by the merits of Christ’s precious blood, and to protect him from all dangers of soul and body.

– Goffine’s Devout Instructions