What is a chrism?
The Catholic Church widely uses lots of physical materials in the administration of its sacraments. There are three kinds of sacramental oils: the oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick, and Sacred Chrism. The last is a kind of multi-purpose oils used for many kinds of sacraments and blessings. It should be necessarily blessed by a bishop or a priest. Another important condition is the contents, as chrism should contain pure olive oil. It typifies the generous outpouring of sacramental grace. The second canonic ingredient is balsam, which represents the inborn sweetness of Christian virtue.
The term chrism is derived from the Greek word chriō, meaning ‘anoint’.