Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Holy Running Water

I noticed this Holy Running Water at St. Catherine's in Meath St. recently and it has been intriguing me ever since.

I assume it is not meant to be permanently running as it is here. At least that is what the presence of the tap suggests.

So let us assume for the moment that it is not running, but only turned on at discrete intervals as needed. Where is it coming from? I assume it is ultimately from the mains, probably with the intervention of a special tank as, otherwise, all water used in the church would be holy water. I am also assuming that the tank is blessed at discrete intervals, so we have from time to time a tank full of holy water.

Now lets run the water permanently. My first thoughts were that the tank would become depleted and the supply dry up. That has clearly not happened here. So my next assumption was that it is continuously refilled from the mains, in which case, would the original holy water eventually turn into ordinary tap water, to the detriment of those attempting to use it for holy purposes?

But then it finally struck me. Holy water has homeopathic qualities. No matter how much it is diluted it remains holy water. So the supply needs only to be blessed once at source and Bob's your uncle.

Glad I figured that one out.

Next question. Where does the "waste" holy water go. There is a "wastepipe" leading from the bowl, but I never thought to check where it went.

Just as well it's not the Real Presence we're dealing with here instead of just Holy Water.


War on Waste said...

I very much doubt that there is a holy tank backstage, but if a tank is essential then the mains pipe will surely suffice as a (very long thin) tank

I think you are right about the homoeopathic qualities of holy water. You raise the valid question of where the holy water goes. Presumably it enters the sewerage system whereupon (if it's qualities persist) it becomes holy sewerage!

This "holy sewerage" flowing continuously underground could be analogous to the church's proud history of child protection.

Póló said...

@ War on Waste

I think we are fast approaching the "appalling vista" here.

I assume there is at least a tank for the church water supply with a ball cock. Otherwise, if the supply is coming in straight off the street without the break of such a tank, then we don't know how far back the homeopathic effect might go. Holy tap water could be very widespread in that case.

The sewage problem is of a different nature. If the sewage was simply let out to sea, then we would have holy oceans. If the waste matter was removed and the purified water brought back into the system we could have whole towns/cities with holy water coming out the taps.

A further theological refinement concerns the waste matter treatment. If the homeopathic effect is taken to spread throughout the sewage as a whole, then we would have holy waste matter going out to sea, producing the same effect as untreated sewage.

Clearly a lot of deep theological rethinking is needed here. And were we to broach the Real Presence, well, we'd have to declare a national emergency.

And, finally, given your link, we should not forget the number of angels on the head of a pin, or in a cellar, or furnace, or overboard.

Certainly a lot more serious than the divarsion of Holy Water. I agree.

Mixed Messages said...

Snap - or some might say something about fools differing....