Blessed Oil – How It is Used in the Bible and How You Can Use It

Blessed Oil – How It is Used in the Bible and How You Can Use It

Olive oil from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Olive oil from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

While not the same oil used in the sacrament of anointing of the sick, blessed oil, like the oil available for donation from the Holy Land Gift Shop, is still an important part of the Christian life.

People may use holy oil for prayer, protection from harm, and to aid in healing. Its importance comes right from the many pages of the Bible. Here’s more from CatholicSacramentals.org and Abbot Andrew Miles, OSB:

“He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.” -Luke 10:34

“They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” -Mark 6:13

Oil in the Bible

Perhaps no other element in the Bible was used for such a wide variety of purposes as was oil. Listed below are only some of them.  Oil was used in cooking and baking.

In particular, the loaves offered in sacrifice were to be made with oil (Ex. 29:2).  Oil was often mixed with perfumes and used to make oneself more beautiful and attractive (Ruth 3:3; Jdt.16:2).   

As such it was also used to honor guests.  Anointing them with perfumed oil was a sign of great honor and respect as well as a way of offering refreshment after a journey ( Lk. 7:37-38, 46; Ps 23:5).  Perhaps for this same reason it was often referred to as an “oil of gladness,” bringing joy to the heart (Ps. 45:8; Is. 61:3; Heb 1:9).  

Perhaps no other element in the Bible was used for such a wide variety of purposes as was oil. Listed below are only some of them. Oil was used in cooking and baking.

Fragrant jasmine oil from the Holy Land.

Oil, too, was a source of light, being used in lamps both in homes and in the temple (Ex. 27:20; Mt. 25:3).  The flame thus kindled likewise became a symbol of the Holy Spirit, whose fire purifies and enflames us with love and zeal (Acts 2:3).  

The healing properties of oil were also recognized (Ez.16:9; Lk 10:34).  The apostles used it for healing, apparently at the instruction of Jesus Himself (Mk. 6:13), and this practice was continued in the early church (Jas. 5:14).  Moses gave instructions for the making of a sacred anointing oil (Ex. 30:22-25). With this oil, the Israelites were to consecrate the priests (Ex. 29:7; Lev. 8:12).  Even the meeting tent and the objects of worship were to be anointed with this oil and thus consecrated to God (Ex. 30: 26-29; Lev. 8:10-11).

Oil, too, was a source of light, being used in lamps both in homes and in the temple (Ex. 27:20; Mt. 25:3). The flame thus kindled likewise became a symbol of the Holy Spirit, whose fire purifies and enflames us with love and zeal (Acts 2:3).

Lamp oil from the Holy Land.

The kings of Israel were also anointed with oil (I Kings 1:39); II Kings 9:6).  Furthermore, we read that when Samuel anointed David as king : “from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David” (I Sam. 16:13).  From this experience, and perhaps others like it, oil became a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The prophets therefore who spoke under the influence of the Spirit were considered to be anointed by God (Is. 61:1) and were sometimes even anointed with oil (I Kings 19:16).  

In using sacramentals, as lay people we should not confuse this oil with the Church’s holy oil that is conferred only by a priest in the Anointing of the Sick.

Blessed Oil for all Christians

Besides the three oils which the church now reserves for use in the sacraments, the Church also recognizes the use of blessed oil for use by all Christians. (See Roman Ritual, p. 393, no.3)  

The purpose of this oil is primarily for healing and protection from harm; but the oil can also be used to pray for all the blessings which the oil represents; that is, all the riches which are ours in Jesus.  The oil can be used in praying for oneself or in praying for others.

The simplest way of anointing is to make the sign of the cross on the forehead while saying the accompanying prayers. (see Ez. 9:3; Rev. 7:3)  But other parts of the body can also be anointed especially when the need for healing may be localized in one or several parts of the body.

If using on another, it is advisable to inform them that you are using blessed oil, which is not the sacred oils of the Church, and are not administering a sacrament of the church.

See all the different kinds of blessed oil available from the Holy Land Gift Shop, oil from the Holy Land and from the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.

Original post here.

2018-10-20T12:40:37+00:00 October 12th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |Comments Off on Blessed Oil – How It is Used in the Bible and How You Can Use It