This service features Rite I liturgy (a traditional/older form of the English language). It is a quiet and meditative service with the addition of Holy Unction (healing prayer). This service is held in All Souls Chapel.
Olive oil that has been blessed is used sacramentally in the liturgical and pastoral ministries of the church. Holy oil is usually applied by the minister of the sacrament or sacramental rite to the forehead of the one who is anointed. The minister often applies the oil with the thumb, making the sign of the cross with the oil. Historically, three types of oil have been identified for use in liturgical anointing. Chrism, a mixture of olive oil and fragrant balsam, is used for the anointing after baptism. It has been abbreviated “SC,” sanctum chrisma. Chrism may also be used at Confirmation. It has also been used to anoint newly consecrated bishops. The oil of catechumens was pure olive oil. It was used for the exorcistic anointing prior to baptism. It has also been used at the ordination of priests and the anointing of kings. It was abbreviated “OC,” oleum catechumenorum. The oil of the sick was also pure olive oil. It was used for anointing the sick. It was abbreviated “OI,” oleum infirmorum.
In the Old Testament (OT), oil was used for anointing kings and priests (see 1 Sm 10:1 and 16:1, 13; Ex 29:7). The use of oil in Christian baptism dates from at least the second century. The title “Christ” means the “anointed one.” Oil is used as a symbol of baptism in the New Testament (NT, see Lk 4:18, Acts 4:27, 1 Jn 2:20, 27). The NT also records the practice of anointing with oil for healing (see Mk 6:13, Jas 5:14). The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (c. 215) included a form for the blessing of oil for the sick. The Apostolic Tradition also noted that anointing with oil was not required for baptism if oil were unavailable. By the fourth or early fifth century, it was required that chrism be consecrated by a bishop. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP, p. 307) calls for chrism to be consecrated by the bishop. This may be done when the bishop is present in the parish for Confirmation (BCP, p. 419). The Book of Occasional Services (BOS) provides a form for Consecration of Chrism apart from Baptism. This rite takes place immediately after the postcommunion prayer and before the bishop's blessing and the dismissal. In many dioceses, the consecration of chrism by the bishop may be done at a service of reaffirmation of ordination vows during Holy Week. The BCP allows oil for the anointing of the sick to be blessed by a priest or bishop (p. 455). The Prayer Book does not mention the Oil of Catechumens.