Monday, November 29, 2004

Olive de Toilette

There is a practice in the church we are very familiar with: anointing with oil for the healing of the sick. This, of course, is done with olive oil. Sometimes.

Someone I know very well (and regular readers of this blog might know as well) recently confused this practice with that of Mary in John 12:3, "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." This person took the "oil" from the sick person's husband and poured a couple drops on her head, anointed her, said amen, and the blessing was given by the husband. After the blessing they smelled something that wasn't olive oil. It turned out that what was now dripping down the back of her head was cologne from a sample vile. It's under investigation as to why a cologne sample was in the company of the husband's priesthood cheat-sheet, but that's beside the point. The question remained whether or not to redo the blessing.

Two questions:

1) Should they have re-blessed her with oil which had been set apart for the healing of the sick? Or was it okay not to because the intent was pure?

2) Do you have any other ordinance (or otherwise) bloopers to report and what did you do in the situation?

Oh, by the way, she's feeling better.