What is Gregorian Water?

Q. What is “Gregorian water?”

A. “Gregorian water” is a mixture of water (a symbol of life and cleansing) with salt (health and preservation), ashes (humility) and wine (spiritual abundance and joy). A bishop exorcizes and blesses the salt and water; blesses the ashes and wine; then mixes them together and blesses the mixture. It is then a sacramental used in the rite of consecrating churches, altars, and altar stones (that is, dedicating them exclusively to divine use).

“Gregorian water” is so called because it was prescribed by Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540–604) to be used at the consecration of a church. The act of sprinkling with this water is called lustration (from the Latin for “purification”).