What is an antique "sick box" used for?


#1

I was given an antique “sick box” that my great-grandmother received as a wedding gift in 1911. It is a large wooden wall hanging that contains statues of Mary and Jesus and comes with candles, oil, and holy water. What were these used for and why do we not use them today?


#2

Not having seen it, I cannot say for sure, but it sounds as though it is a container of materials meant to help a person offer spiritual comfort to an ill person. The candles and statues may be arranged to facilitate prayer for the sick person, the holy water may be used for blessings appropriate to laypersons, and the holy water and oil may be given to a visiting priest to use for priestly blessings.

There’s no reason why such materials cannot continue to be used today, although visiting priests usually bring their own supply of oil for the anointing of the sick.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.