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Holy Water

Ordinary water which has been blessed by a priest in order to be used for religious purposes—e.g., blessings, exorcisms, burials, and the Asperges of the Mass. In the West the actual blessing of the water is accompanied by exorcism and by the addition of exorcized salt. Holy water is usually found in the stoups, situated near the main door of churches; this practice goes back to Norman times, and the use of holy water in the church began in the fourth century, but gained momentum in the Middle Ages.