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Great Blessing of Water & fasting

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#1 Sbdn. Peter Simko

Sbdn. Peter Simko

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

Last year, I read a blog post on the Holy Water that is blessed at the Great Blessing of Water in the Byzantine custom (as opposed to the "Lesser" usually used at the beginning of each month). The post said that the Holy Water that was blessed and received at Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil on Theophany could only be consumed after fasting (or after Communion but before antidoron). Nevertheless, the post said that although the water could not be consumed by someone who had not fasted or non-Orthodox, it could be used to sprinkle and throw and whatnot. The post also mentioned that water from the Lesser Blessing is not for non-Orthodox, either.

My yiayia and mother, God bless 'em, always confused me by saying that we can't take home the water blessed on the eve, but only the water from the day (I think... again, this was confusing as a child). They said the water from the eve was similar to Communion, by which they simply meant that we abstained before consuming it. The water from the next day, however, could be taken home to bless things and drink before breakfast, &c.

To add to that, when I went to the Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil at my present OCA parish, I witnessed that everyone was "digging right in", Orthodox or not, treating it as I assume the water from the lesser blessing is treated. As I stood there with antidoron in my hand, I was greatly confused.

So in all this, what is/are the practice/s, and just since I am wondering, which emerged locally and which are seemingly more ancient? Thanks everyone!

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