After the water is blessed …
49. The bishop, accompanied by the deacons, passes through the main body of the church, sprinkling
the people and the walls with holy water; then, when he has returned to the sanctuary, he sprinkles the
One of two antiphons “I saw water …” (Ezekiel 47) or in Lent “I will pour clean water …” (Psalm 51) is indicated. “Another appropriate song” is possible.
“People and the walls” are mentioned together. It would seem to make sense that the bishop would sprinkle the people first, then the walls. Pragmatism might suggest that one trip amongst the people is sufficient, but I wouldn’t minimize this rite.
This prayer concludes it (II, 50):
May God, the Father of mercies,
dwell in this house of prayer.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit cleanse us,
for we are the temple of his presence.
II, 51 provides for the Gloria. That would be sung during Advent or Lent.
The collect completes the introductory rites:
fill this place with your presence,
and extend your hand
to all who call upon you.
May your word here proclaimed
and your sacraments here celebrated
strengthen the hearts of all the faithful.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The 2003 ICEL version:
Almighty and eternal God,
pour out your grace upon this dwelling
and extend the gift of your help to all who call upon you,
that in this place
the power of your word and sacraments
may strengthen the hearts of all the faithful.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.