Holy water is normal water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy. Once it is blessed, it is no longer treated as regular water. The source of the water is of no importance, although some religions assign special classifications of holiness if the water comes from a particular location such as the Ganges or the Jordan river.
Water that has been blessed is used to sprinkle on people, places, or objects in order to bless them or to cast out evil entities that may be lurking within. In some religions it is related to using the rite of baptism to cleanse the soul.
Some churches have small cisterns of blessed water or a stoup, a small vessel, for people to sprinkle themselves with holy water when they enter or exit a church.
Because of issues with hygiene, some churches now dispense holy water using modern technology such as a dispenser unit that does not allow physical contact to the body of water, only a dispensed portion. This helps to stop the spread of diseases that can be cause infection through water.
After use, holy water cannot be disposed of by dumping it down the normal drain. It is kept separate and allowed to go to a special ground unit that keeps it safe from waste or bathroom water.
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