Anybody out there use salt for liturgical purposes these days? As I was paging through LTP’s Lent sourcebook, I found this fifth century quote from John the Deacon:

The catechumen receives blessed salt also, to signify that just as all flesh is kept healthy by salt, so the mind which is drenched and weakened by the waves of this world is held steady by the salt of wisdom and of the preaching of the word of God.

In the sacramentary, there is a blessing for salt, if it is to be mixed into the water for the sprinkling rite. The Book of Blessings (1781ff) suggests a blessing for salt if it is “connected with devotion.” I have some broad experience with the catechumenate in different places, but I’m not aware of anyone giving their catechumens or elect salt.

Salt is so commonplace, and certainly part of a throwaway attitude–we have so much of it, and we can get it whenever we want. We also over-consume it–to the detriment of our health.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Salt

  1. Liam says:

    Actually, the salt detrimental to health thing is too casually mentioned. For example, most people (even doctors) are unaware that only a minority of people with hypertension are sodium-sensitive in that regard. Doctors (for a variety of pragmatic reasons) tend to treat all hypertensive people as if they were sodium sensitive, without testing for that.

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