Blessing of the Oils: Holy Week

Valuing the body is part of our Christian heritage–yet we forget. Reminders, like the blessing of the oils* remind us how much God values our physicality.

 

Oil used for  Sacrament of the anointing of the sick
Oil used for anointing of the sick

 

My prayer response:

Thank You, God, for this body you have given me. Thank You for the Church that supports me not only spiritually, but also physically.

 

Anointing of the sick, South Porch (East bay)
Anointing of the sick, South Porch (East bay)

 

Biblical touchstones:

The LORD spoke to Moses: Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, two hundred fifty, and two hundred fifty of aromatic cane, and five hundred of cassia—measured by the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil; and you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the covenant, and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand; you shall consecrate them, so that they may be most holy; whatever touches them will become holy. You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, in order that they may serve me as priests. You shall say to the Israelites, “This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. It shall not be used in any ordinary anointing of the body, and you shall make no other like it in composition; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an unqualified person shall be cut off from the people.” Exodus 30:22-33

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:14

While Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” Mark 14:3-9

 

 

Invitation to prayer:
What prayers are emerging from your heart, mind, and body? Pray them now. Let them lead you where you need to go.

 

Chartres Cathedral 2014

 

Photos: Chrism Mass at the Chartres Cathedral in France on Holy Tuesday

*for catechumens, for those being baptized, confirmed, or ordained, and for prayer for the sick and dying,
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One comment

  • Thank you, Jill, for reminding us to take care of body as well as soul–and for the beautiful pictures and quotes for today. They are gentle reminders to take time to care, love and make attempts to heal in today’s troubled world

    Like

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