Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Holy Water Blessing

Holy Water Blessing QUESTION from Dolores Bordine on March 31, 2002 At the vigil of Easter mass, there was baptism and confirmation of the catechumens. There were two priests and a deacon at the Mass. After the confirmation service, the blessing was announced and teenagers went down the aisles with bowls of water and evergreen branches, dipping the evergreens into the water and blessing the congregation. Was this following liturgical form?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on April 7, 2002 Dear Mrs. Bordine,
The rubrics in the missal are clear that it is the priest who is to sprinkle the people. So, ONLY the priest may sprinkle the people.
The rubrics call for use of a sprinkler in the English translation. A more precise English translation is aspergil which comes from the Latin aspergere which means to sprinkle. Evergreen branches are not aspergils, despite whatever symbolism we give to them with eternal life.
Thanks for writing,
Mr. Slavek
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