By Catherine Hervey
Overall I would say that I am very satisfied with this model that I use to hold my holy oil. It was issued to me, not chosen by me, so I did not actually make a purchase at any point, but I have several years’ experience using it and it has held up very well.
This vial is exactly the same sort of container that is used when people give out bubbles as wedding favors. Except it doesn’t have a small satin bow (this would get in the way) or a sticky label with dove/names/date. There’s also no bubble wand inside. Obviously there’s no reason for one, because it would be sacrilegious to make bubbles with holy oil.
But it is plastic like a bubble container, and it has the same lid that flips up easily with one swipe of the thumb, and then I have a nicely sized opening to work with but not too large.
A while back our deacon came up to me and said “How you liking that one?” and told me that it was a newer model only a few people had been given. There had been some partnership for some big event, and a few of the bubble vials like mine were left over and got mixed in with the usual supply of long, clear plastic tubes with black screw-on lids. I’ve used that kind too, when it’s a heavy day and the line for prayer ministers is so long you know there’s no way everybody is going to get prayed for so you go join in even though you weren’t scheduled and you don’t have your supplies handy, so I can compare from experience.
What I will say is that when you are in the middle of praying for someone about something really heavy, like their adult child getting a divorce and them thinking it’s all their fault, the last thing you want when one or both of you might be crying is to pause mid-prayer and frantically twist open a cap. It’s a definite upgrade to just need the thumb swipe.
The seal on the cap is pretty good, too. It holds as well as anything I’ve ever used, and the few times my whole bag has smelled sweet and musky have involved human error.
I can’t compare it to the fancy brass-looking kind the priests attach to their fingers because I’m not ordained or anything, and it seems like you aren’t allowed to have them if you’re not. However, I’ve got to say I did get a pretty close look at one when my dad got unction right before he died and the priest definitely had to unscrew the lid first, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say this model might even be superior in usabiltiy to those.
My favorite thing about this particular vial is its size. It’s small enough for me to enclose in my palm but it holds a lot more oil than any of the other vials I’ve seen in use. This is very important to me because I tend to go through a lot of it and frequent refilling can be a bit of a pain. At any large gathering there are going to be people who are sick or love people who are sick and people who got abused years ago and can’t forget it and people whose money has run out and people who are getting left by someone and people who are just really, really tired and don’t know why. So it’s nice to have something that can provide extra volume without compromising portability.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who intends to bless anything. Four and a half stars.
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