The outbreak of the H1N1 virus has led many churches to suspend the tradition of having holy water in open fonts into which people dip their hands.
The new machine works like an automatic soap dispenser, squirting water when a hand is passed under the tap.
Inventor Luciano Marabese says he is being inundated with enquiries.
About 30 people have died in Italy after catching swine flu.
Father Pierre Angelo Mota, from Capriano Briosco, north of Milan, said squirtable holy water had surprised some of his parishoners at first.
“It has been a bit of a novelty,” he said.
“People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy. The members of this parish have got used to it,” he added. [reference]
Well how about a Holy Water font that asperses you as you stand in front of it? Or a cheaper solution is to have ushers with an aspergillum who can sprinkle people as they come in. Well I guess the positive side is that liturgists will have a hard time placing sand or marbles in an automatic Holy Water font.
Though I do wonder if scientifically the Holy Water font is actually a risk in the first place. But I can understand this prudentially, just as long as we draw the line here and not follow up with Communion Host Dispensers and the Rapid Fill Communion Wine Dispenser.
Hat tip Catholic in Japan.