The ceremonial application of oil for a sacramental or religious blessing

is called anointing. Oil is used liberally in the Roman Catholic Church.

Oils are blessed by the Bishop on Holy Thursday. There are three kinds: oil

of the catechumens, chrism and oil of the sick.

Holy oils are very important in the Roman Catholic Church. There are

three kinds: Oil of Catechumens, Chrism and Oil of the Sick.

Oil of the Catechumens is used for blessing the baptismal font,

consecration of a church, blessing altars, in the ordination of a priest

and the coronation of Catholic kings and queens. It gets its name because

it is used in Baptism.

Chrism is used for Confirmation, consecration of a Bishop, and blessing

chalices, patens and church bells.

Oil of the Sick is used for Extreme Unction.

The consecration of these oils is held on Holy Thursday, officiated

over by the Bishop. It requires many clergy and solemn ceremonies. The

Bishop pronounces an exorcism (105) over the oil to banish Satan's

influence. He then prays that the Holy Spirit may come upon the oil.

Later in the day, parish priests obtain oil for their use during the

year. Unused oils from the last year are used in the sanctuary lamp as

ordinary oil.


In more recent times the use of anointing has been somewhat modified.

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