Clerics and paladins, with a 1 hour ritual and 25gp worth of silver powder [source : Player's Handbook, Chapter 5 - Equipment], can create a dose of Holy Water, which can be very useful against fiends and undead.

The Xanathar's Guide to Everything expansion includes the Divine Soul Sorcerer subclass, which gives access to the Cleric spell list to said Sorcerer, so there could be discussion as to whether or not a Divine Soul Sorcerer is considerable as a Cleric.

While there is no direct mention that a Divine Soul Sorcerer can make the PHB Holy Water creation ritual as well, should he logically be able to (considering his magic partially comes from a holy source) ?

Note that I'm not talking about the Holy Water creation effect from the Ceremony spell (which Divine Souls can indeed pick).


4 Answers 4


Strict rules: ritual - no, ceremony - yes

There are two ways to create holy water currently. The one you refer to in your question is the one from the PHB entry on holy water:

A cleric or paladin may create holy water by performing a special ritual. The ritual takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot. (PHB)

RAW this option is not available for the sorcerer because they are not listed in the available classes. It is worth noting the the PHB was written before Xanathar's Guide to Everthing (in which both divine soul sorcerer and ceremony are found). So this may just be a case where the print has not been updated to reflect new class options or an oversight. Regardless, until an official clarification or errata RAW say no.

The other is the ceremony spell:

Bless Water. You touch one vial of water and cause it to become holy water.

This is a cleric spell, thus the Divine Soul Sorcerer has the option to take it. If they do, then they can make holy water! You mention this already in your question and the only reason I mention it here is because of the following.

Ceremony and the PHB ritual may actually be referring to the same thing

(Interesting point brought up by @PhilBoncer in his answer)

Note that both are 1 hour long, take a 1st level spell slot, require 25gp of powdered silver, and are both available by default only to clerics and paladins.

Seems like a pretty incredible coincidence right? Despite no explicit ruling confirming this, I think the evidence is pretty strong that both these things are talking about the same magic ritual which is now called the ceremony spell.

If this is indeed the case, then there is no conflict. The divine soul sorcerer can create holy water by taking the ceremony spell which would be the exact same way the cleric and paladin do it.

If you do not believe or accept this to be the case, keep reading and see why you might want to allow it anyways.

DMs should strongly consider allowing it despite strict RAW

DM all obviously have the right and ability to change anything about the game to suit their needs. But should they do that in this case?

Divine soul sorcerer backgrounds/flavor fits the ability well

Looking at the flavor text for the divine soul sorcerer, it seems that this could mean many different things depending on how the character wants to play their character.

For example:

Perhaps your ancestor was an angel, transformed into a mortal and sent to fight in a god’s name. Or your birth might align with an ancient prophecy, marking you as a servant of the gods or a chosen vessel of divine magic.

Another is:

In some cultures, only those who can claim the power of a Divine Soul may command religious power. In these lands, ecclesiastical positions are dominated by a few bloodlines and preserved over generations.

All these fit very well with an ability to make holy water. In fact, the theme and flavor of them almost demand it.

The last example, in particular, is a compelling case for this. From a storytelling perspective it would make absolute sense for a "vessel of divine magic" in a place where "only those who can claim the power of a Divine Soul may command religious power" would be able to create holy water. It is a standard act of a divine actor to be able to do so.

The game allows the making of HW with a cleric/paladin spell, so why not the ritual as well?

The game already admits that the character has the right flavor and powers necessary to create holy water by giving them the ability to choose the ceremony spell. I don't see it as that much further of a leap to allow them access to the ritual as well (even if they don't choose the spell).

The risk of allowing this negatively affecting the game is very low

I don't see the ability to create holy water as having almost any potential to break any aspect of the game. The only things they could do with the holy water really are use it in battle or sell it. Both activities are done by other classes only rarely and without game-breaking effects. This isn't really any kind of significant power gain.

The benefit to flavor and roleplaying can be great

Allowing this ability can make the character feel more anchored to their divine heritage (whatever that might be) and could enhance roleplaying and create opportunities for backstory discussion and character growth.

So, if the DM wants to I think they can safely allow the divine soul sorcerer access to the holy water-making ritual. With almost non-existent potential for negative effect to the game and large potential for good aspects to come from it it actually seems like a very easy choice.


Yes, but only if you choose to select Ceremony as one of your spells.

The Divine Soul Sorcerer states(XGtE, 51)

Your link to the divine allows you to learn spells from the cleric class. When your Spellcasting feature lets you learn or replace a sorcerer cantrip or a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose the new spell from the cleric spell list or the sorcerer spell list.

Using one of your chosen spells, you can pick from the Cleric list as well as the sorcerer - which includes Ceremony (XGtE, 151)

Bless Water. You touch one vial of water and cause it to become holy water.

Limited spells and you

Sorcerer's are limited to their spells known and can only learn new or swap a single one at each level gained. You can absolutely use one of your known spells to be Ceremony, but whether or not the cost of not knowing another spell is worth the ability to make Holy Water is up to you.

Mundane Manufacturing: Sorcerers aren't Clerics.

On Page 152 of the PHB, there is an alternate method for creating your own Holy Water:

A cleric or paladin may create holy water by performing a special ritual. The ritual takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot.

Unfortunately, a Divine Soul sorcerer is NOT a cleric - they only have access to the cleric spell list. This eliminates them from being able to create it without having to know Ceremony.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahhhh, good catch for Ceremony! But i'm speaking about the default holy water creation process from phb chapter 5. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh! My apologies @GaelL. Ceremony also is a 1 hour ritual that consumes 25gp of powdered silver. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 18:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ They're not identical. They're similar. The PHB entry for holy water mentions a "special ritual" that takes 1 hour. The Ceremony spell takes 1 hour when cast as a spell, or 1 hour and 10 minutes when cast as a ritual by a ritual caster. So only the "special ritual" can be accurately called a "1 hour ritual." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 11:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Clearly that makes all the difference, and justifies creating and using two different methods for the same people to do the same thing. That makes total sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also note that the "special ritual" takes an hour to cast and is stated to use a 1st level spell slot. So (a) according to the description it isn't being cast as a ritual, and (b) that IS identical to casting a Ceremony of Bless Water. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 22:27

Not by the rules.

The passage you are referring to is in the Player's Handbook listing for holy water in the equipment section:

A cleric or paladin may create holy water by performing a special ritual. The ritual takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot.

The rule as written means what it says: to be able to perform the special holy water ritual, you must be a cleric or a paladin. Merely having access to cleric or paladin spells would not make you a cleric or a paladin.

But... the DM can allow it.

The DM could reasonably allow a Divine Soul sorcerer to complete the holy water ritual if they think it feels right for the class, but that would be an exception they make to the rules.

Also... there is a cleric spell that allows it.

The ceremony spell in Xanathar's Guide to Everything allows the caster to create holy water. If a Divine Soul sorcerer takes the spell, then they can create holy water using that spell. However, they still can't create holy water using the ritual described in the equipment section, quoted above.


The "Bless Water" Ceremony spell IS how clerics and paladins create Holy Water. So Divine Soul Sorcerors can create Holy Water, and they do it exactly in the same way clerics and paladins do: by casting that spell. The only difference is that clerics and paladins can prepare spells each day, and thus only need to have Ceremony prepared on days they intend to use it, while Sorcerors cannot change their prepared spells (except at level change) and thus would have to dedicate one of their "known" spells to that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not the only method, and it's not the method the querent is asking about. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 19:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ It does answer the question. It explains that divine soul sorcerors already have that power -- they already ARE "able to create Holy Water using the same ritual as Clerics and Paladins". The original book said it was a ritual that took an hour, used 25gp of silver, and used a 1st level spell slot. That describes the Ceremony perfectly; the Ceremony spell IS that ritual. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no "default holy water creation process" in the PHB. There was a reference to there being a ritual involved, and now with the Ceremony Bless Water spell, that ritual has been explained and detailed. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that there are two different but identical ways for the same people to do the same thing. That would be silly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the same way that the Homonculous is a construction, and must have a method for creating one -- now in the XGtE this is explained and detailed as being a 6th level spell: "Create Homonculous". This does not add a new way to the old way that was never explained; that would be silly. The new spell IS the explanation. Ceremony, for holy water creation, is the same way; it IS the explanation of how that is done. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 21:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PhilBoncer It is an explanation. (your reasoning is pretty good) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 4:02

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