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Blessed Salt and Oil

What the Catholic Church says......

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church "Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man.  They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross or the sprinkling of holy water..1667

"Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood. Every baptized person is called to be a "blessing," and to bless (1 Pet 3:9, Lk 6:28, Rom 12:14).  Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings...Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it....1669-79.

"Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects and places) comes first.  Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts.  In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father with every spiritual blessings.  This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ...1671

 

Basic Information

Blessed oil and salt are sacramentals of the Catholic Church for use by lay people as they minister to others through prayer.  Lay people bless with oil; priests and only priests, anoint with oil.

The power in the oil and salt comes from the redemptive acts of Jesus through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.  That power is elicited by prayers of intercession, and is then directed through the external signs of oil and salt.  Neither sacramental should be used superstitiously as having self-contained power, but in combination with prayer.  The sacramentals are focus points, funneling one's faith toward Jesus, like a flag is a focus for patriotism.

A priest may use the official prayer from the Roman Ritual to bless oil and salt for lay people.

 

How to use blessed oil

Blessed oil may be used when praying over people for healing; to bless family members, homes, or objects.

The prayer doesn't need to be complicated or fancy.  Just ask the person what they would like prayers for, use the oil to make the sign of the cross on their forehead, and pray for God to honor the request.  If the person doesn't wish to confide the intention, that's fine;  God knows what is in their hearts.

Don't worry about what to say or how to say it; the Lord wil guide you.  You can pray in tongues, English or you can say an Our Father or Hail Mary; simply speak what is in your heart, the Holy Spirit will lead.  You can end your prayer with an Amen, a Glory Be, or however the Lord inspiries you to close.

It is possible to pray with someone who doesn't even believe in God, let alone His ability or willingness to heal, and see miraculous results.  All prayers are subject to God's will; when we intercede for others our will is united with His.

 

Guidelines

Be sure anyone you pray with understands you are not offering or providing them the Sacrament of the Sick; the Sacrament can only be administered by a priest.

Only pray over people who have asked for prayers, either directly or through firends or family members, and keep all names and information shared  confidential.

Don't act as a counselor, try to solve anyone's problems or dispense advice.  Your ministry is to remain open to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and respond in obedience by sharing what He offers the person seeking healing.

 

Please use the blessed oil, often, don't save it just for times of illness.  Parents, grandparents or other primary care providers can bless the children in their lives daily; spouses can bless one another at any time, for any need.  Use it on your homes, cars, pets, tools, anything you want the Lord to protect and bless.

 

How to use blessed salt

Blessed salt can be sprinkled in one's home, across thresholds and windowsills, around property lines, in cars, school lockers or work sites.  It can be used on food and while cooking.

As you spread the salt pray for the Lord's blessing and protection.  The faith of the person using the salt must be Jesus-centered, like the faith of the blind man in John 9; his faith was in Jesus, not in the mud and spittle Jesus used to heal him.

Blessed salt is not a new sacramental, but there is a new interest in it as an instrument of grace and healing.

"The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

 

Prepared by the Maine State Executive Committee for the Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Portland, Maine under the direction of Very Rev. Richard Rice, Liaison.

Permission granted to reproduce and distribute with Blessed Oil and Salt for use in ministry by others.