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April 11, 2022
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April 12, 2022

How to dispose holy oils

Msgr Michael de Verteuil, Chair of the Liturgical Commission, explains what to do with left-over oils.

Each year at the Chrism Mass the Archbishop blesses oil to be used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.

Each parish sends representatives to the Mass who collect the Holy Oils on behalf of the parish; these oils are then brought up in procession in the parish churches at the Holy Thursday Mass.

What is to be done with the oils that may be leftover from the previous year? They are to be disposed of either by burning or pouring into the ground.

They can be burnt by soaking cotton or paper with them and lighting that – some parishes place the soaked cotton in the Easter fire on Holy Saturday night. They can be buried by digging a hole in the ground near the church and pouring the oils in.

The left-over oils are not to be used except in an emergency, and then only by a priest.