Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.
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George Leo Haydock
Places. This is to be understood in the same sense. He must not leave his sacred functions to attend any corpse whatever. Having the honour of representing God, and being his first minister on earth, the utmost purity is required of him. Inferior priests may mourn on some occasions; and the Levites are not distinguished, in this respect, from the people; to show that God requires sanctity in his officers, proportionate to their exaltation.
Oil. Hebrew, "He is the Nozor; or the crown of the anointing oil of "Joseph has the title of Nazir, (Genesis xlix. 26,) which is borne by the prime ministers of the Eastern kings. Such is the high priest in the temple. Let Christian priests hence learn what sanctity will be required of them. But why is the pontiff forbidden to bury his father, since he obtains that dignity after his decease. St. Augustine (q. 83,) answers, that he was to be consecrated immediately after, that he might offer incense. Another might, however, perform that office. On some occasions, the high priest was deposed, or the dignity transferred to another family. Infirmities might also hinder him from performing the duty. (Calmet)
Priests must be detached, as much as possible, from all things which might divert them from their sacred offices. The greatest holiness is required of those who receive the body of Jesus Christ. (Du Hamel)