An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


The liturgical practice of sprinkling with holy water as a reminder of baptism. The term comes from the Latin version of Ps 51, “Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop.” The asperges may be done after the Renewal of Baptismal Vows at the Easter Vigil. It may also be done as a preparatory ceremony before the eucharist, with the altar, clergy, and people all sprinkled with holy water. Historically, it was performed as a kind of exorcism and cleansing of a building or other place for liturgical services. An aspergillum is used for sprinkling the holy water.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.