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The use of Holy Oils

Consecration, blessing, healing and unification

Father David Jones

Catholic Practices

One of the most impressive liturgies of the year is the Chrism Mass. At this Mass, the Bishop, the leader of the local church, blesses oils that will be used all over the Archdiocese for baptism, confirmation, ordination, consecration and the anointing of those who are suffering. These blessed and now Holy Oils are sent from the Cathedral so the work of the church can be done in unity anywhere.

The use of oils for consecration, blessing, healing and unification is biblically based. We are rich with both cultural and theological connections that teach us about the ability to change something or someone by application of Holy Oils.

There are three oils that are blessed to assist us in church. Sacred Chrism, the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens.

The Oil of the Catechumens is used to strengthen and mark us as we leave behind our old ways and embrace the way of Christ. Reception of this oil is to aid us and repel any evil that seeks to stop us from being fully committed to life in Christ Jesus.

The Oil of the Sick is used for the sacrament of Anointing. It is all about healing, good health and fighting the good fight. It is also about putting our trust in Jesus no matter what come what may. Through this Holy Anointing we are better able to say I will trust and work for the Lord as long as I have breath.

Holy Chrism is oil mixed with perfume. How sweet it is! It gives us the power to do what Jesus would do. It marks and reserves people and thing for exclusive use by the Lord. It is applied to hands of priests, heads of bishops and altars and walls of churches. Once touched with this oil, they are only to be used for God’s sake.

Holy Oils are stored in a special case in the church. The case is called an ambry. This is so that at anytime we can see and know that our help is near and available. Truly a balm in Gilead that is always near those who need help to keep the faith and work for the Lord.

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