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The Roman Catholic Church: Anointing Oil and Holy Water
Every Catholic is familiar with the use of Holy Water and Anointing oil,
but often the meaning, power and symbolism of this sacrament are ignored or forgotten.
The priest blesses the Holy Water by wearing a violet stole.

The stole symbolizes the priest has having the power of blessing.
The Church encourages the priest in violet because it is the color of restoration. 
This water indicates many things to Catholics,
the first been the power of washing away sins as in the sacrament of Baptism. 

* Holy Water, when sprinkled by the Priest symbolizes the washing away of sins, excites us to contrition and a life of grace. 
* It also symbolizes a powerful weapon against evil spirits and every wicked force.
* It is a remedy against temptations. 
* It is used for curing diseases and for delivering people from many evils.
* It also offers consolation and help to the departed souls in Purgatory when their corpses and graves are blessed.
* It is mainly for blessings.
* It is taken by people for good health.
Psalm 23:5b ……. Thou anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
The Bishop blesses the oils which are to be used during the administration of the Sacraments, as well as in various consecrations and blessings of persons and the things to be blessed.
The Blessing of Oils is blessed by the Priest in charge.
Each of the Catholic members has already received some of the benefits given through these holy oils.

As a catholic member, we already received it during the ceremonies of Baptism and also in the conferring of the Sacrament of Confirmation;
and we do hope someday too,
that we shall obtain further grace through them in Extreme Unction
(the Sacrament of the Sick). 

Uses of Oils
There are different uses of oils
* The Bishop blesses the oil used for sacramental purposes at baptisms and confirmations.
* It can be used for healing and other occasions. 
* It is used to anoint the Priests. 
* The pre- baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening.
* The anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. 
* The post- baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration.
There is another form of anointing called the sacred anointing.  

It means the individual to be anointed is to be set aside to be empowered by God to accomplish their given task.
Examples of those that were anointed in the Bible to carry out their task are Samuel in 1st Samuel, 10:6 & 16:13.  

Jesus was also anointed at his baptism with the Holy Spirit in John 1:32-33.
The Old Testament describes sacred anointing as been uses for divine purposes.
The Oil of the Sick.
This sacred oil which is called in Latin "Oleum Infirmorum,
" is the basic substance for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (Sacrament of the Sick).

This oil is always pure, without any mixture of wine or ashes.
The Sacrament of the sick was practically used in James 5:14-15
which says is any man sick among you?
Let him bring in the priests of the Church;
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man,
and the Lord shall raise him up.
And if he be in sins, he shall be forgiven.

The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is given only to those
who are seriously ill by anointing them
on the forehead and hands with the duly blessed and sanctified oil.

The Bishop, while administering the oil on the sick person’s forehead, says:
'we pray through this holy anointing,
may the Lord in his infinite love and mercy help you (the sick)
with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
And may the Lord who frees from all sins save you and raise you up.

Jesus bless you all
Nicola Kanaan


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