Watch out, Church of the Churchless visitors.
In my never-ending quest to promote honest sin and discourage hypocritical virtue, I've got to warn you about a seemingly innocent product that could be extremely dangerous to your health.
The Holy Drinking Water website has a warning, which may or may not be tongue-in-cheek:
"If you are a sinner or evil in nature, this product may cause burning, intense heat, sweating, skin irritations, rashes, itchiness, vomiting bloodshot and watery eyes, pale skin color, and oral irritations."
Makes me want to buy a bottle just to see if I'm as sinful as I hope I am. But, hey: that's what the Holy Drinking Water folks want me to do. So, I won't.
However, I do appreciate their broad definition of "blessing." Newsweek said that the blessing is done by an Anglican or Roman Catholic priest, but the web site lists a considerably more inclusive bunch of potential water blessers, including a lama (Buddhist priest).
Christians would be better off buying bottled water with Jesus' image on it. This is sold by SpiritualH2O. There are several choices. I like the crown of thorns – just the sort of energizing hydration a good Christian will want to carry into her jazzercise class.
Having mocked these ridiculous products – who really believes that a blessing by a holy person makes any difference? – I need to answer my own question with: Me, in the not so distant past.
Yes, along with hundreds of thousands of other Radha Soami Satsang Beas disciples I used to treasure the food that would be blessed by the guru and distributed to the faithful at special events. Sometimes it was puffed rice, sometimes granular sugar, sometimes something else.
I never was sure how prashad worked (now "placebo effect" comes to mind). But even though I always looked on spirituality with a decidedly scientific bent, I still would make my bag of prashad last as long as possible, eating just a tiny bit each morning before I meditated.
So far as I can tell it never had any effect. At least it was free, though, unlike Holy Drinking Water.
Nonetheless, when I saw that Holy Drinking Water was accepting applications for blessing their drinking water, I got excited. Until I noticed that you had to be an ordained clergy to apply.
Somewhere I've got my ordination from the Universal Life Church that I acquired in the '60s, when this was thought to be a way of avoiding the draft. (Smoke enough pot and you'll believe anything, particular if it promised to keep you from going to Vietnam.)
But I see that online ordination now is available. Even easier. Maybe I've got a shot at blessing bottled water after all.