Sacraments at home

My own bottle of Holy Water.

I have lost count as to how many weeks it has been since I last took the eucharist. Through some personal bungling, I was unable to take it at the last presanctification liturgy I attended. The last time I took it was BEFORE the shut down. I don’t want to make vows because the devil has a way of untying those promises I make to myself, but God willing and through the prayers of the Theotokos I will be able to do better.

Orthodox Greek Byzantine icon of Theotokos "Comforter" (2 ...
Akathist Link

Almost daily, I say almost because, Lord have mercy I AM forgetful to a fault, I will put Holy Water into the water or coffee my husband and I drink. Also on occasion, I anoint him and he anoints me with the oil from the myrrh streaming icon of the Mother of God located in Hawaii, and we pray for each other.

Another act of ascetic living that I think (if I may be so bold to say) the church may consider to be an unofficial ‘sacrament’ is reading about the lives of saints and the Holy Fathers. It certainly brings about an atmospheric change in the home, as well as internal change to those reading and hearing these precious words.

How I came to have a liter bottle of Holy Water.

One day, I walked into my parish temple and asked Father where I could obtain some Holy Water. I had brought a container from home. He disappeared behind the iconostasis and returned with the bottle you see pictured above,  in his hand. Holy Water never runs out of, well, ‘holy’ because it makes all it is added to Holy. This bottle has been topped off several times. The water added to it is transformed. Just as we are transformed when added to the Body of Christ, His Church.

Here is a LINK to an article on how Holy Water is sanctified by the priest.

There are three points in the article I would like to point out.

The first being the point the author makes about the Bible: ‘The Scripture is the God’s Word, and not a logbook that records the tiniest details of what happens on board of the Church ship.’

The next is: Perhaps, if the Corinthians had asked Apostle Paul about the ritual of baptism, rather than speaking in tongues, we might have known more about the apostolic tradition of baptism, and therefore about the consecration of water, and we would have the Scriptures to prove it. 

Last but not least:Ask, and it shall be given you (Matthew 7:7), and all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

The entire article is well written and educational on why and how The Church blesses water.

Using Holy Water at home. You drink a little before morning prayers is the official, right and holy way to do it. If you’re like me and forgetful, a splash in your drinking water or coffee would seem to be ok as God is merciful and at least it’s getting inside of you. It may also be used for informal blessings in the home, on vehicles, etc. If married- have the man do the blessing if he is Orthodox. If not married or your husband is not Orthodox it’s a D.I.Y. moment. I have used it when watering plants. Just a few drops in the watering can is all that is needed. I have used it when cooking.

If you are someone who is Orthodox but has not really been ‘into’ Holy Water I lovingly encourage you to contact your priest and ask for some to be given to you for use at home. I can see an improvement in my husband’s health since taking the Water. He cannot take the eucharist at this time because he has not yet been baptized. The blessed bread and the Holy Water were his main ‘church provided’ sacraments. Now we do what we can at home and I am thankful that at least we have these things to cling to as physical aspects of worship even though we are unable to attend services for now.

Do you use Holy Water at home? If so do you use it in anyway not listed here? I’d love to know. Feel free to post it in comments.