Holy Oils

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I love the ritual of the blessing of the Holy Oils during the Chrism Mass. I have a couple of questions about the Holy Oils we receive each year. First, my religious community is not a parish community and only needs and uses the Oil of the Sick. Do we need to receive all three Oils? And, is it necessary to get new Holy Oils each year? We hardly use any of the Oil of the Sick we receive during a year’s time. Is there a reason we should get and use new Oils each year, or can we just get it the year we need it?

Thank you for your help.


A: The Chrism Mass is beautiful, and more Catholics should take the opportunity to participate in it each year.

Your religious community does not need to keep all three oils, but if you have permission to store the oil of the sick, it should be renewed each year. The old oils may be burned in the fire of the Easter Vigil. 

As you know, only a priest may use that holy oil in administering the sacrament of the sick.

I’ve written an entire book, Sacred Oils, which you may find interesting.