I'm running a 5th edition campaign that's going well. I'm not very versed in the system just yet, and my group has run into a little bit of a bind - it's not game-breaking, but it tends to come up every now and then and I just want to be sure.

Is it possible for the cleric in the party to create holy water?

As stated, Bless can only be used on creatures. Is there a way for a player to bless water?


2 Answers 2


Xanathar's Guide to Everything has a 1st level cleric and paladin spell called Ceremony, which has a number of various options which correspond to things which have traditionally been sacraments of the church in the real world — weddings, funerals, coming of age ceremonies, atonement, and etc. One of these options is:

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

This spell has a casting time of one hour and every option requires 25 gp worth of powdered silver, which the spell consumes.

This corresponds perfectly with the "special ritual" described in the basic rules, under holy water, which:

takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot.

So, while @sadaqah's answer is correct pre-Xanathar's, it seems that they've decided to fill in this missing space with a specific spell.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If only they hadn't done that... I can't tell you how much Ceremony broke my heart when it was published in the UA... /PandaRage levels. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Curious... what's not to like? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:55
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Everything in that spell should be able to be done by any cleric at any time (barring the silly bonuses that go with the marriage and other stuff). Holy Water by RAW doesn't require it (clarified by Crawford) and the rest of the effects make things trivial (oh you changed alignment? NP let me cast a first level spell...*/trying to suppress my gagging*). I wrote a page and a half scathing review on the UA version... The writing of that spell, to me, made me think tha the devs didn't trust DMs to actually put flavor in their own games. It damaged my calm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ The core rules still apply -- after all the content of Xanathar's is optional. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's D&D. All rules are optional. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 18:25

Under "Chapter 5: Equipment" in the Player's Basic Rules and Player's Handbook:

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. (PBR, p. 49; PHB, p. 152*)

The ritual only expends a 1st-level spell slot; it does not take a specific spell to create holy water.

The entry describes a single use item (flask), so this is the amount a cleric or paladin can create with a 1st-level spell slot and 25gp of powdered silver.

*The Holy Water equipment entry spans pages 151-152 in the PHB and has intervening block text, so this can be easy to miss.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Lemme get this straight. This is true for a cleric of any alignment ? Evil clerics create holy water too ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nigralbus
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 14:56
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nigralbus An evil cleric creates unholy water. See, e.g., Protection from Evil & Good, Commune and similar spells that list holy or unholy water as a material component. A neutral cleric could likely choose which to create depending on your DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – sadaqah
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @sadaqah any chance you could add the above (about unholy water) to your answer? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 1:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @sadaqah Who is to say what is "holy"... don't get caught up on the slant of everything being looked at through "good" eyes. To a Cleric of Asmodeus the Paladin of Pelor is an unholy blight to a perfectly ordered and subjugated world. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:52

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