THE CELTIC RITE FOR THE BLESSING OF HOLY WATER
A bowl of fresh water and a small bowl of salt are placed on the altar. The Priest (behind the altar, facing the people) genuflects, crosses himself/herself and says the following invocation:
P: I am bending my knee
In the eye of the Father who created me,
In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,
In friendship and affection.
Through Thine own Anointed One, O God,
Bestow upon us fullness in our need,
Love towards God,
The affection of God,
The smile of God,
The wisdom of God,
The grace of God,
The fear of God,
And the will of God
To do on the world of the Three,
As angels and saints
Do in heaven;
Each shade and light,
Each day and night,
Each time in kindness,
Give Thou us Thy Spirit.
The Ancient Celtic Poem of the Flood is read responsively.
P: On Monday will come the great storm
C: Which the airy firmament will pour,
P: We shall be obedient the while,
C: All who will hearken.
P: On Tuesday will come the other element,
C: Heart paining, hard piercing,
P: Wringing from pure pale cheeks
C: Blood, like showers of wine.
P: On Wednesday will blow the wind,
C: Sweeping bare strath and plain,
P: Showering gusts of galling grief,
C: Thunder bursts and rending hills.
P: On Thursday will pour the shower,
C: Driving people into blind flight,
P: Faster than the foliage on the trees,
C: Like the leaves of Mary's plant in terror trembling.
P: On Friday will come the dool cloud of darkness,
C: The direst dread that ever came over the world,
P: Leaving multitudes bereft of reason,
C: Grass and fish beneath the same flagstone.
P: On Saturday will come the great sea,
C: Rushing like a mighty river;
P: All will be at their best
C: Hastening to a hill of safety.
P: On Sunday will arise my King,
C: Full of ire and tribulation,
P: Listening to the bitter talk of each man,
C: A red cross on each right shoulder.
The Congregation is seated. The Priest, standing, shall mix a little salt with the water, and shall say;
The Lord hath said; “Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mindful of these words we mix this salt with the water, as a token that all who devoutly sprinkle themselves with this water, preserve within themselves the salt of Christian wisdom and strength, and should fulfill themselves with the spirit of peace and love. With this intention we consecrate the water, and sign it with the sign of the holy cross +, that the Almighty, who created it, of his boundless mercy may cleanse our hearts from all sin, may fructify them with the rich stream of his grace, and may satisfy their thirst after righteousness with the water of eternal life, through Christ our Lord.
P: Sprinkle me, O Lord, and I shall be clean.
C: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
P: Let us pray.
A: Almighty Creator, Lord of heaven and earth, who in holy baptism hast made water to be an emblem of the cleansing of our souls; grant, we beseech thee, of thy goodness, to all of us who use this water in enlightened piety and in a Christian spirit, the heavenly water of thy grace, that in accordance with the promise of thy Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there may be within ourselves a well of living water springing up into everlasting life. This we pray thee through the merits of the same thy Son, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen