True water

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I just had a discussion with a member of our parish liturgy committee who posed a question that stumped me. They asked if it was permissible to add rose water to the water already in the baptismal font to be used at the Easter Vigil. Apart from it not being cheap (rose water is expensive), to my recollection I’ve never read anything for or against scenting the water or it ever being a practice in the church (east or west) in the past. Your thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help! Peace,


A: Please don’t do that. Canon 849 calls for “true water.” I would not mess with this. You don’t want to raise a question about the liceity or validity of someone’s baptism.

Use water. It’s a beautiful symbol all by itself. Doesn’t need enhancements.