Blessing Of Oil : A Spiritual Aid Essay

1256 Words Dec 8th, 2016 6 Pages
Anointing of oil has sometimes been understood as a spiritual aid and was joined with other sacramental acts in a larger process of ritual preparation for death. The same council that reminded bishops to perform the blessings of the oil on Holy Thursday passed the following decree concerning the treatment of the sick: "If anyone is borne down by sickness, he should not lack, through priestly negligence, either confession and the sacerdotal prayer or anointing with the sanctified oil. And finally if he sees the end near, the priest shall commend the Christian soul to the Lord his God in the sacerdotal manner with the reception of holy communion." In this text, confession and forgiveness of sins are clearly delineated from anointing and connections are drawn between forgiveness and cure or any type of spiritual and physical healing. The late antiquity Roman church sought to cure sick members through visitation, communal prayer, and the distribution and use of sanctified oil. The use of oil was regarded as a means of restoration of physical health and the return of the sick to an active life in the church. The Christians rituals and practices of the sick and dying directly connects with the importance the Christians attached to the ceremonial burials of the dead. Popular belief was that the soul could rest only when the body has been laid in a proper grave. The period from the fifth to the tenth century the sarcophagi fell out of use and became very limited to the…

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