Blessing of olive oil


When a Catholic priest blesses oil (olive oil) for use by a lay person, does he need to open the sealed bottle or is the oil properly Blessed if the bottle remains sealed while the priest blesses it?


When I have a priest bless my cans of salt, the cans remain sealed.

I would expect oil to be similar? In that the blessing is a matter of intent, rather than requiring physical contact with any particular substance in order for the blessing to be transferred to where it’s supposed to go.


The priest would know what he should do.


I’ve had candles blessed before and they remained packaged.


Thank you for replying.


Remember that a blessing has at the ‘essential core’ of its effect the person’s intent. The item wouldn’t necessarily even need to be visible in that case. The Pope blessed hundreds of items per day in bulk; he can’t physically see them all, yet the blessing is still effective.


I saw a blessing of olive oil two days ago and the parish priest used the old blessing in Latin and put blessed salt and holy water in the bottle.


I’m not sure how to put this without sounding like a smart-aleck, but the packages are airtight, not God-tight . . .



Just like when the Priest blessed my Bible (gift from KOC) at my Easter Vigil - it was in the box :slight_smile:


My understanding is that lay people do not use oil for Roman Catholic ceremonies like blessings. “Since they are not priests, in no instance may the non-ordained perform anointings either with the Oil of the Sick or any other oil.” [From the 1997 Instruction “ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS REGARDING THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST”, Article 9 The Apostolate to the Sick” , § 1. at .

This is discussed in more detail by Father Edward McNamara at and in a Catholic Answers thread begun in 2006 at Holy Oil use by lay persons .

In 1989 the USA edition of the Book of Blessings was approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship. It includes Chapter 59 “Order for the Blessing of Food or Drink or Other Elements Connected with Devotion”. This is not in the original Latin edition, it is a USA addition. It has a blessing for oil at 1795 E:

God of compassion, mercy and love,
in the midst of the pain and suffering of the world
your Son came among us
to heal our infirmities and soothe our wounds.
May all who use this oil (in honour of Saint N.)
be blessed with health of mind and body.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

[© 1988, United States Catholic Conference (USCC), 3211 Fourth Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017-1194 USA. All rights reserved.]

There is no specification here about opening the oil. The introduction to the blessing begins: “1781 On the occasion of a feast or season of the liturgical year or in honor of Mary or other saints, it is customary in some places to celebrate a rite for the blessing of food or drink (for example, bread, water, wine, oil) or of other articles that the faithful devoutly present to be blessed.”

A Priest can bless oil to be used anoint catechumens: “101. The oil used for this rite is to be the oil blessed at the chrism Mass, but for pastoral reasons a priest celebrant may bless oil for the rite immediately before the anointing.” There is no mention here of a requirement to open the bottle of oil for the blessing.

When the bishop blesses the oils there is an option to open the vessel but it is not required. The rubrics are:

“23. Then the Bishop pours the fragrances into the oil and mixes the Chrism in silence, unless this was done beforehand.”

“25. Then the Bishop, if appropriate, breathes upon the opening of the vessel of the Chrism and, with hands extended, he says one of the following Prayers of Consecration.”

[Excerpts from the English translation of The Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism © 2016, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Excerpt from the English translation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults © 1985 ICEL. All rights reserved.]


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