Holy or font water in Churches

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Scottish Monk, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. realdocphil

    realdocphil New Member Anglican

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    it’s the anointing of the Holy Spirit that breaks the yoke
     
  2. billn59

    billn59 New Member

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    We use a font and I dip my fingers in and make a sign of the cross every time I enter.
     
  3. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    Our church, though evangelical in doctrine largely is still quite Anglo-Catholic in our worship. We have one. I use it upon entry as a reminder that only by the work of the cross and my baptism can I truly enter.
     
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  4. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    We use when we enter church and leave church every time, than it is gone from after the Holy Thursday tell Easter morning.
     
  5. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Honest question, is holy water in the same category of the handkerchiefs?, “And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I am guessing and assuming that holy water is a habitual or tradition-based carryover from the Roman church, but if there is a doctrinal statement I hope someone will point me toward it.

    Our ACNA Anglican parish has a font just inside the nave's doors. I see a small percentage of people using it and making the sign of the cross. I haven't, just because it reminds me too much of the Roman church I came out of long ago.

    I suppose holy water could be regarded as a point of contact for an anointing to be transmitted or for faith to rise up inside a person, like anointing oil or a handkerchief. To my way of thinking, anyway. Not sure what the established folks have to say.

    By the way, in the Roman church every time one uses holy water in making the sign of the cross, it's worth 7 years' indulgence off of the time to be spent in purgatory. O_o So if a Roman Catholic did this going in and going out (twice per mass) for 50 years, that's more than 35,000 years' indulgence! It sort of makes the purgatory doctrine look unnecessary, doesn't it? :p
     
  7. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    If I had known how much purgatorio points it would deduct, I would have used it every opportunity I got! Praying in front of a crucifix only takes 2 years off my Purgatory sentence. :liturgy: :laugh:
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Holy water can be a pious traditional observance in some Anglican churches. I'm seeing holy oil being used quite a bit. There's a tendency to bring it back, and in general to make more visible and tangible the key aspects of faith, rather than leaving it all abstract and purely mental.

    Obviously there is no connection between these things and the fiction known as Purgatory in the Roman world.
     
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  9. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Indeed. Many Evangelicals, Charismatics, and varing sects of Protestantism use holy oil, known better as Annonting Oil. And yet they bat an eye at holy water.

    I believe if it strengthens your faith, doesn’t contradict Scripture, and doesn’t take your eyes of Jesus, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Hebrews 12:2), then there is no harm.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Part of the reason for that might be the prominent use of oil in the O.T. to anoint kings and such. And oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit. But water does not share similar connotations in either the O.T. or N.T.; it is used in baptisms and in ritual washings, but physical water was not viewed as holy or special (that I can recall). Some commentators say that water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, though I think those Protestants you mention tend to not see that connection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  11. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Except it says of Christ Jesus our Lord:

    “This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” (1 John 5:6)

    “But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” (John 19:33-34)

    Jesus said of Hinsslf:

    “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

    “Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." (John 4:10)

    “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: 'Streams of living water will flow from within him.'" (John 7:38)

    “For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" (Revelation 7:17)

    In the New Jerusalem:

    “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
    2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelatiom 22:1-2)
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Of the 7 scriptures cited, 4 refer not to physical water at all, 1 refers to physical (but not natural within our fallen world) water, 1 refers to the liquid which is a component of our blood but looks like water when the blood's components separate at death, and the remaining 1 might be speaking of baptism water but then again may refer to amniotic fluid. I still think that natural, physical H2O was not viewed as holy or special. Even the water that flowed forth from the rock that Moses struck with his staff was received to slake the Israelites' thirst, and although this was a type of Messiah we have no indication from Scriptures that the water itself was seen as holy.

    I will go one step further. We see people ascribing special powers or properties to inanimate objects, such as amulets, medallions, rabbit's feet, old bones, etc. There is the view that such objects may be a point of contact that could help a person's faith in God's provision to arise and receive from God the answer to a need. And then there is the view that the object holds special properties in and of itself. It is a small step to go from one view to the other, and Christians should be on their guard against anything that might encourage those of weaker faith to take that small step between truth and error.
     
  13. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Do you think using annoutning oil to sanctify things and places is close to the same trust as a amulet to protect someone? I ask this in earnest, because I am trying to assess if holy oil ahould even be used so blankety as it does these days.

    There are only handful of annoitnings I find in NT:

    “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14)

    “They also drove out many demons and healed many of the sick, anointing them with oil.” (Mark 6:13)

    None of these mention anointing grounds or buildings.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I don't know of anyone who regards anointing oil as something with inherent power. But if anyone did so, they would be getting into error. Personally, I do not carry a vial of oil around; if I'm going to pray for someone, I just touch them with my hand and I pray.

    The woman with the flow of blood had faith to be healed upon touching the fringe of Jesus' prayer shawl, possibly in partial response to Malachi 4:2, But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings... But her faith rested in the power of Jesus. She probably felt unworthy (as an unclean person) to touch or be touched by Him, yet she believed His power to be so great as to extend even to the very edge of his outer garments. The point is, she did not view the cloth as a container of power in and of itself, but as a transport mechanism for the healing power of God. (Cloths from the apostles were seen in this light also, I think.) If we treat the oil in this manner, I think we're okay. Yet we know how easy it is for folks to get off into error, so they have to be taught well
     
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  15. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Indeed, there is a fine line between an object being an extension of our Lord Jesus like the hem of His robe (Matthew 9:20) and the Medieval relics of Christ’s Baby Teeth, Madonna Milk, splinters of the True Cross and etc. It is a balance, if you hVe the faith of a Mustard Seed to do something go touch the Savior’s Robe is one thing, to put trust in the robe itself or any relic is another; as you said so eloquently, the power came from the Lord through the object not the object itself.
     

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