Most of the Churches use three holy oils primarily. These are the oil of the sick, the holy chrism oil and the oil of the catechumens. Well, each of these oils, that you will easily get in a religious oil store, has a distinguishing purpose and religious value. The oil of the sick is actually pure olive oil. It is used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. This can be administered in any place and at any time. during a Mass, the priests lay hands on the sick person, say special prayer and anoint by placing oil on the forehead and hands in the form of a cross.
Oil of the Catechumens
This pure olive oil is used on both adults and infants before baptism. For an adult, this anointing happens during a distinct initiation ceremony for the Sacrament of Baptism. The process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or RCIA and is administered by the priest or deacon during Mass and before holy Communion. The infants are anointed while receiving the waters of baptism. This is done to ward off evil, possess faith on the Holy Cross and avoid temptation.
Holy Chrism Oil
Out of these three types of oils available in a religious oil store,, the holy chrism oil is consecrated by the bishop during an annual Chrism Mass while the other two are blessed. This olive oil is mixed with balsam. It symbolizes strength. The fragrant balsam signifies the ‘aroma of Christ.’ The oil signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit and used to consecrate a person or a thing to God’s service, for baptismal rites, for ordination of a priest as well as for consecration of a bishop, a church, the vessels used in Mass and for the blessings of the altar.