What not to do with the baptismal water
January 19, the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of Epiphany. Of particular importance is baptismal water, which in the church tradition is called the Great Agiasma, which means “shrine” in Greek. On this day, many seek to collect the consecrated water, as it has special qualities, including healing, and does not deteriorate. But how to use it correctly?
Why is Epiphany Water Special?
One church verse affirms that at Baptism "the nature is sanctified of all waters," that is, all water in nature acquires the primordial property of incorruption.
The church says that it is possible to sprinkle objects, places of residence, means of transportation, animals, plants for “blessing and expelling uncleanness” with holy water of the Epiphany. Are there any taboos related to the water of Epiphany? Here are some of them.
It is not allowed to draw baptismal water into dirty vessels or vessels with stickers not related to Orthodoxy.
The vessel for baptismal water must be cleanly cleaned, if there are any foreign stickers on it, they must be removed.
You can not draw water baptized in future
That is, it is not necessary to recruit it too much.The priests claim that over time, it loses its healing properties - this is called "imprisonment of the shrine."
Water should be stored in a special place.
In the old times, the water of baptism was placed in a secluded place near the iconostasis. So it was believed that it will retain its properties longer. It is impossible to store such water in the refrigerator - it is believed that the nearby products defile it.
You can not boil or freeze Epiphany water.
It is believed that the water of baptism initially has special sacred properties. During heat treatment or freezing, these properties change. It is also not recommended to expose containers with Epiphany water to direct sunlight. A number of researchers believe that the Epiphany water has a special molecular structure, and manipulations with it can change this structure.
Do not add Epiphany water in food or drink, do not wash in it or wash clothes
Epiphany water should not be used for cooking, for example, kneading dough on it. “They believed that the water consecrated in the rivers“ drags ”demons, so a week after the Baptism there was a ban to wash clothes in the ice holes so that the evil forces would not seize it and not come back,” states A.Ryzhkov in the article "Epiphany Eve and the baptism of the Lord: traditions of celebration in Russia":
We often hear recommendations to wash with Epiphany water, if there is a suspicion of the evil eye. But the church considers it a superstition. PBaptizing water, washing it is allowed only if a person is seriously ill or has been attacked by dark forces. “By accepting baptismal water (like any other shrine, for example, prosphora or consecrated oil — oil), a person can pray to the Lord that this shrine would serve as a means of healing from diseases,” says the cleric of the Saratov Church of the First Apostles Peter and Paul , priest Vasily Kutsenko.
Eat this water should be in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening before bedtime, always reading a prayer. You can apply to the sore spot a compress moistened with holy water.
Women on critical days should not use Epiphany water.
These days, a woman is considered “unclean” and therefore should not touch the shrines, except when she is sick — then the water of the Epiphany can help her.
Do not give baptismal water to drink animals
But you can sprinkle it with pets. BUT.Ryzhkov writes: “In many provinces, the sprinkling of livestock was carried out in a separate order. All animals were expelled to the yard, where hay and unwrapped sheaves were laid out beforehand, and while the animals ate food, the whole family, young and old, children with icons, lit candles, a wife with a bowl filled with baptismal water, and the owner with sprinkles - bypassed the herd and sprinkled it. " Sometimes it was also believed that some animals could be given to drink holy water, while others could not. A. Ryzhkov reports: “The baptismal water brought from the prayer service splashed all corners in the hut, sprinkled cattle, poultry, cattle, allowed cows and horses to drink, especially the horses, so that they couldn’t go home with them.” it was believed that it was a sin to drink a pig with consecrated water - an “unclean” animal. ”
You can not pour out water where necessary
Water of baptism is a shrine, and it should be treated accordingly. So, if it spilled or broke the vessel in which it was located, water should be collected with a clean towel and pressed into another vessel, and then poured into an “unpopular place”, that is, a place that people do not walk in, say, running water or natural water. You can pour water on such flowers. But pouring it on the ground, in the sink or sewer is unacceptable!
Accepting or giving away the baptismal water, you can not quarrel or foul language
It is believed that with this holy water can deteriorate and lose its properties. However, abuse and bad language have always been considered incompatible with the concept of holiness.