Monday, March 20, 2006

Disposing of Old Holy Oils

As with the Paschal Candle, ideally the Holy Oils given to each parish by the Bishop at the Chrism Mass are completely consumed through their normal use in anointings during the year. The new oil received at the current year's Chrism Mass replaces the oil from the previous year.

When there is Holy Oil left over from the previous year, it should be disposed of with care and reverence.

One way is to burn the old oils. This may be accomplished by reverently burning them in the Easter Fire at the Easter Vigil or at some other appropriate time. It is not fitting that the Holy Oils be burned along with trash or other non-religious refuse. Cotton balls or another absorbent fabric can be used to soak up the oil. The cotton is then burned and any ashes buried into the ground near the church.

The Archdiocese of Seattle has some good guidelines on how to do this. Click here to see their guidelines on disposing old Holy Oils.

Meyer-Vogelpohl oil burnerAnother option is to use a sacramental oil burner. Meyer-Vogelpohl has one that is beautiful enough to use as a tabernacle lamp or for ritual prayer. Click here to see more details about this sacramental oil burner.

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