Throughout history, oil has been used to soothe burns, alleviate dry skin, and enrich foods. Oil has become associated with healing and beauty. The Catholic Church uses oil to signify healing and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics are anointed with oil when they receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. Each year during Holy Week, a bishop celebrates the Chrism Mass in the cathedral of his diocese. During this Mass, the bishop blesses the oil that the diocese will need for the year. There are three types of oil: the Oil of Catechumens (olive oil used for those preparing to enter the Church), the Oil of the Sick (olive oil used for Anointing of the Sick), and Chrism (olive oil mixed with balsam, used for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders). After the bishop has blessed the oil, it is distributed to parishes within the diocese and used when these sacraments are administered.

Originally posted 2019-05-20 15:46:19.