Why the ‘Asperges Me’ mentions the ‘hyssop’ plant

Hyssop is mentioned in the ‘Asperges Me’ in the liturgy of the Tridentine High Mass…

Hyssop is a herb with long branches full of little leaves thatgrows on the rocky soil of Palestine. In North America it is not very common in the wild, but can sometimes be found among gardeners.

Since the branches easily hold water, they were frequently used in the liturgical services of the Old Testament to sprinkle water or the blood of animal sacrifices.

Moreover hyssop, when placed in water, has a purifying power, just like soap. To sprinkle with hyssop is thus similar as cleaning something with soap water to render it clean again.

Also interesting to note is that the flowers of hyssop are purple, the color of penance.

Semper Excelsius is a website for the defense of the Catholic faith through instruction and informative articles. Its focus is on explaining the rich history and traditions of the holy Roman Catholic Church, while defending her teachings against false assumptions and doctrinal errors.

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