You Anoint My Head with Oil
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
April 28, 2003
Anointed with oil, what a wonderful aspect to our faith that many do not experience. Or do they? What is it like to be anointed with oil? What does it mean to be anointed with oil? What is this thing that some people experience and some don't, some want to experience and can't because of different religious doctrine?
While working for an Episcopal priest, I attended a service where those who went forward for prayer were anointed with oil. What was it like? For me, well, let's discuss my feelings and me a little later. I had to learn what anointing with oil was all about and thankfully my priest was ready and willing to explain. My question through the explanation was -- I have experienced an anointing many times, a spiritual anointing, then why is an anointing with oil so important?
For the Episcopal, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, there are three uses for oil: sacramental, healing and other occasions. Oil used for sacramental purposes at baptisms and confirmations is consecrated by the Bishop. It can be used for healing and other occasions. For healing ministry and other occasions, it is available for use by the laity who have been trained in its use. Several other mainline denominations use oil to anoint for healing and other occasions and the oil is consecrated by the individual pastor for his/her use. A priest may also consecrate oil for healing and special occasions.
Sacred anointing means the individual is to be set aside empowered by God to accomplish their assigned task (1 Samuel 10:6; 16:13). Jesus was anointed at his baptism with the Holy Spirit (John 1:32-33) and was marked through anointing as the Messiah of the Old Testament (Luke 4:18, Acts 9:22; 17:2-3; 18:5, 28), and his disciples, also through union with him (2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20). The Old Testament tells of sacred anointing for divine use, i.e., individual for ministry (1 Chronic ...
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