Reference Entry


in The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Second edition

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780198609810
Published online January 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191727047

Show Summary Details


the rite of sprinkling holy water at the beginning of the Mass, still used occasionally in Catholic churches. The term comes (in the late 16th century) from the first word of the Latin text of Psalms 50(51):9 (literally ‘thou shalt purge’), recited before mass during the sprinkling of holy water....

Reference Entry.  51 words. 

Subjects: History of English

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.