March 20, 2008


Today I was introduced to one of little--and to this day hidden--rituals of the priesthood: the changing of one's holy oils on Holy Thursday. Here's how it goes:

Someone retrieves the new oils from the central supply at the seminary, since none of us could go to the Chrism Mass (as usual, we had wakes to go to.)

Then, all the priests in the house show up in the sacristy and take the little holy oil soaked cotton balls out of their little oil stocks and put them in an empty peanut butter jar. These will be used to start the new fire at the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

Then each one takes new cotton balls from the bag provided, puts them into the little oil stocks, and soaks them up with newly blessed oils. Then the oil stocks go back into your briefcase, glove compartment or book bag, and you're all set to anoint the sick or baptize and confirm in danger of death.

1 comment:

ben in denver said...

At my parish, we got a new ambry last year in the sanctuary, so they started a new tradition of processing in with the new oils at the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

I think it is a nice way to visibly bring the graces of the Chrism Mass to the Parish, since most of us just don't get to the Chrism Mass.