As a theologian, Catholicism has always been an area of interest in my many years of study. I had the pleasure of hosting a group of college students for my summer camp theology classes on Christian Doctrines. My enthusiastic students, mostly Catholics, had vast knowledge of Catholic practices. However, one of the disputing topics we encountered during our debates was the issue of holy water and who can make it. I was glad that this topic came up because recently, I had the pleasure of joining a roundtable with fellow theologians at a seminar and had in-depth discussions and talking points with a guest of honor, a revered Priest, on all matters pertaining to Holy Water. Safe to say, I had most facts about this topic at my fingertips. One of the bones of contention among my students was if nuns make Holy Water. For years in my field of study, this question had always come up. Thankfully, through my seminar and additional research, I got the answers. So, can nuns make holy water?
No. Nuns cannot make holy water. Only a priest and other members of the clergy can make holy water. Water is a sacred symbol from time immemorial. Water has been a symbol for spiritual cleansing (Hebrews 10:22 and Ephesians 5:26), the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39), and a sign for God (Jeremiah 2:13). As such, holy water should be made by members who have received Holy Orders – the clergy.
In this article, I will discuss why nuns cannot make holy water. Furthermore, I will inform you about who can make holy water and why. Keep reading to find out all the answers.
Nuns cannot bless water. Holy water is a powerful sacramental in the Catholic Church. There are specific procedures that need to be followed to make and bless authentic holy water. Ordained church members have the authority to bless holy water – nuns are not in this category.
Only a priest or other members of the clergy can make holy water. Clergy refers to members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic livelihood who are ordained through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The three levels are priests, bishops, and deacons. Nuns are not part of the ordained life. They are part of the Catholic Church’s tradition of religious life, just like monks, friars, and brothers. Therefore, nuns do not have ecclesiastical authority and cannot perform authoritative religious duties such as making holy water.
A priest or other members of the clergy can make holy water. The water is used for baptism and as a sacramental to bless something because, as a sacrament, holy water symbolizes the presence of Christ. In baptism, for example, the water is blessed by Christ in His own baptism, and He blesses it again through the priest. In Catholic tradition, holy water is a product of mixing water and blessed salt. Salt was used as a purifying agent in 2 Kings 2:19-22 when Prophet Elisha healed the waters in Jericho.
Yes, other members of the clergy can make holy water. Other than priests, the bishop too can make holy water. Bishops can make a special kind of holy water consisting of salt, water, wine, and ashes. This type is Gregorian Water the old Pontifical used it for consecrating a church altar. Deacons can also bless holy water in the Novus Ordo – the new order of the mass.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.