March 13, 2015
By Kristi Anderson
When the bishop breathes upon the openings of glass vessels filled with fragrant chrism oil at the annual chrism Mass, he does so as a reminder of Christ breathing on the Apostles after his resurrection, telling them to “receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Catholic faith is rich with signs and symbols that evoke the five senses and signify that an internal action has taken place inside the person. Throughout the life of a Catholic, anointing with holy oils is one such tradition.
“Oil was originally used in the time of Jesus and the early days of the church,” said St. Cloud Bishop Emeritus John Kinney. “It was an element of healing and a beautifying agent to give luster to the face and complexion.