One of the tasks of a Holy Week liturgist is preparing for new oils. Yesterday, I removed the vessels from the ambry, and set aside the 2009 oils. A parishioner cleans the vessels each year and prepares them to receive what will be blessed today at the Chrism Mass here in northeast Iowa.
I took some images of our smudgy vessels, but haven’t been able to download due to technical problems. Twelve months of baptisms, confirmations, and anointings sure take their toll on crystal vessels. The chrism container seemed especially in need of wiping.
As for last year’s oil, we soak it in the wood used for the Easter fire. A noble end.
I’ve joined some parishes and have found years of old oils in the back shelves of sacristies. I realize the aversion–I share it–to discarding such material. I can’t believe the rear of vestment cabinets is a suitable resting place for “OC 1997.”
By the way, the Easter fire is also a final resting place for the yucky incense that never gets used. How do you handle such things at your parish?
One innovation I’ve thought about but never tried is to burn metal salts in the Easter fire to give a hint of color. Depending on the chemical compound, you can safely add any color of the rainbow.