Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Automatic Holy Water Dispenser?

Folks, this is not a joke but I wish it was. I've posted some funny videos in the past here, here and here but the one below makes me a bit sad. Hat tip to Crescat.

Holy Water Dispenser by DiagonalView

Now go watch the ones I linked above and have some fun.


Anonymous said...


Personally, I love those great angelic holy water fonts at St. Peter’s church in LeRoy. They are the most amazing fonts that I have ever seen in a church. (Those swimming pool like combination holy water and baptismal fonts that you are likely to see in those modern “tent style” churches just don’t do it for me.)

Having said that, I see no problem with the applying of modern technology to a holy water font. The infrared sensors are cheap, and are becoming ubiquitous in restrooms across the country where they are used to control the flow of water. So why not in the church? Too techie? Perhaps. But, if they encourage the use of the sacramental which might not be used due to swine flu hysteria then they are performing a worthy service.

When I use the fonts at St. Peter’s, I like to imagine all the generations of the faithful who have dipped their hands in those holy vessels, and I imagine a bond forming between myself and them. Swine flu or not, I will continue to dip my hands.

Thanks for your blog.

Kelly said...

Thank you for your comments! I suppose the cynical recesses of my mind had a trigger 'eject' response when I saw the auto-font. Immediately, my brain conjured up images of automatic church doors (germy door handles), automatic kneelers which would drop at the appropriate times, digital hymnals casting lyrics upon a screen, and most grievous of all - automatic Eucharist dispensers. The priest would consecrate the hosts contained within a machine and the faithful would line up, receiving in the hand as it was detected by a sensor.

Ours is a sensual faith - sounds, laying of hands, eating and tasting, smells and visual elements. Tradition, some would assert, the sixth 'sense'. I suppose I am concerned about the slippery slope. There are certain shepherds who refuse communion on the tongue because of fear of passing germs - or catching them. What next?

I can only imagine the germs upon everything we touch from the time we enter the church building. The door, the hymnal, the bulletin rack, the edge of the pew we grasp when we kneel, the kneeler when we place it down. This does not include the germs we come in contact with on the way out of the church and at our next destination. And the next destination. Most of us are not agoraphobic, thank God!

I suggest clergy start using salt in the holy water again. Some still do, but many do not as it is no longer required. It is naturally antibacterial -- and has strong Biblical support! Realizing the weight(lessness) of my suggestion, I also will continue to dip my hand (sans salt). And if I catch hoof-in-mouth, so be it. As for H1N1, you are more likely to catch it from the Priest, EMHC or 'pew neighbor' breathing on you. Just don't inhale the water as it is passed via the respiratory route (droplet nuclei).

The angels near the center doors are truly lovely. Thank you for the imagery of generations dipping their hands. I'll never dip my finger in them again without thinking of that.

Now, at a risk of losing your anonymity, I think you should be a guest contributor to the blog. It receives a decent amount of regular traffic and I like what you have to say.