The Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19).
Jesus, the High Priest, was anointed to bring the Good News of salvation to all. Today, the local bishop continues this call and commissions his priests to help him anoint God’s people and minister the sacramental grace of God’s Kingdom.
The Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism implores God’s blessing on the oils to be used for the sacramental blessings of the Church. The ritual is for use at the Chrism Mass, where the bishop consecrates the sacred “Chrism of salvation” and blesses the holy oils for use at Baptism, Confirmation, and during the Anointing of the Sick. (In certain circumstances, the prayers from this ritual may also be used by priests to bless oils for catechumens and for the sick, though in those situations, priests may certainly continue to use the existing translations found in the appropriate books.)
This ritual book includes optional chant forms of the blessing prayers. The book will be necessary for the diocesan celebration of the Chrism Mass. It will also be useful for diocesan liturgy offices, for seminaries and theological libraries, and for those who are interested in this important moment in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church.
The Order of Blessing of Oils has an updated English translation that the Holy See approved with its confirmatio in 2017. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, this text becomes the required English translation for use in the United States.