Hey everyone. Can a lay person bless another person with sacramentals such as holy/blessed oil or holy water?
The answer is: NO. Laypeople are NOT priests!
You can bless yourself with holy water when you enter and leave a church, or if you have a holy water font in the rooms of your home.
When my kids are sick, I dip my finger in holy water and make the sign of the cross on their foreheads anytime. It may not be the same as if the priest did it but it’s still a sacramental and I am sure that grace is conferred.
Your answer assumes that only priests, and not laypersons, can bless others with holy water, etc. That’s not quite so. The following is from the Catechism:
1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a “blessing,” and to bless. Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).
Various forms of sacramentals
1671 Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father “with every spiritual blessing.” This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.
The Church permits lay people to bless themselves and others, unless such a blessing is reserved to the clergy because it “concerns ecclesial and sacramental life.” Blessing one’s children or spouse, presiding over the blessing at a meal, and many other uses of sacramentals are certainly things lay people can do. When in doubt, consult your local priest for guidance.
And if asked to by their priest, lay people can impose the ashes on Ash Wednesday as well, of course.
Thank you all for your help. I really do appreciate it.