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Author Topic: Coptic Unction of the Sick  (Read 1148 times) Average Rating: 0
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Andrew - The First Called
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« on: May 24, 2011, 04:17:02 PM »

On the last friday in Lent I attended the Unction of the Sick at my local Coptic church. The sacrament was given to all, not just a select group (i.e the sick) but the thing I would like to know about is: when I entered the church I noticed the priest was preparing the oil, but it was just from a bottle of common vegetable oil, the sort used for cooking. Is this common practice? Was he just using such oil for the public service? Please could any Coptic Orthodox elaborate for me if possible.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 08:37:12 PM »

On the Friday before Pascha Week, everyone receives the anointing of the sick. The reason is that during the Pascha week the church is too preoccupied with participating int he Passion of Christ to pray other rites, including the hours (Agpeya), and the anointing of the sick. A general funeral is held immediately after Palm Sunday for the same reason. If anyone falls sick they have already received the prayers. If anyone reposes, they have already received the prayers.

I believe pure olive oil should be used, but we just pick it up at the grocery store. I usually buy a bottle of extra virgin 100% olive oil because the oil left at church from last time has usually gone bad. I don't know what the exact requirements are, but that's good enough.
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Andrew - The First Called
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 07:20:58 AM »

I know that its alright to use any, pure, olive oil I was just a little concerned when I saw a bottle of ordinary vegetable oil rather than olive oil. I was also a little concerned because I am preparing for baptism and chrismation at the church and I was worried that such an oil may be used at their chrismations rather than the holy myron, perhaps this fear is unjustified but I just thought that if such an oil may be used in one instance there's no reason why it might not be used again.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2011, 08:07:32 AM »

At Baptism and Chrismation there are three different oils used: the oil of catechumens, the oil of gladness, and the myroun. There is no way the priest would just use vegetable oil for all three, he would know to use the myroun received from the Patriarchate. If you are concerned, you could just approach him and say that you'd heard that three oils are used at Baptism, could he explain the difference, is it true that the myroun goes all the way back to Christ, etc., to find out what you are wondering without having to directly challenge him.

The myroun used at baptism is a very holy thing (since it is already consecrated by the bishops to replace the laying on of hands of the bishops for chrismation), while the olive oil used for the anointing of the sick is a common thing that is made holy in the mystery.
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Andrew - The First Called
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 08:45:34 AM »

Thank you for you reply its very helpful. Much appreciated. In XC
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Father Peter
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 09:05:41 AM »

I use pure virgin olive oil when I practice the rite of the anointing of the sick.

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