What happens at the Chrism Mass?
At the Offertory, the
three Holy Oils are carried up to the sanctuary by
concelebrating priests with gifts of bread and wine offered up by the
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
Blessing of the Oil of the Sick
The Oil of the Sick
is blessed by the Bishop during the Eucharistic Prayer. Before the
Bishop says “Through Christ our Lord/ you give us all these gifts” in
Eucharistic Prayer I or the doxology “Through Him” in
the other Eucharistic prayers, the one who carried the vessel for oil
of the sick brings it in front of the Bishop while he blesses the oil.
After the blessing, the vessel of the oil of the sick is returned to
its place, and the Mass continues until the Communion Rite is completed.
Blessing of the Oil of the Catechumens
the Prayer after Communion, the concelebrating priests place the oils to
be blessed on a table suitable located in the centre of the sanctuary.
The concelebrating priests stand around the Bishop on either side, in a
semicircle and the other ministers stand behind him. The Bishop then
faces the people, and with his hands extended sings or prays the prayer
of blessing of the oil of catechumens.
Consecration of the Chrism
Then the Bishop pours the balsam or perfume in the oil and mixes the
Chrism in silence, after which he says the invitation. The Bishop then
breathes over the open vessel which contains the Chrism and sings or
prays the Consecratory Prayer. This is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who
blew over the face of the waters before creation (Gen 1, 2b), and of the
risen Jesus, who appeared to his disciples and breathed on them saying
“Receive the Holy Spirit...,” (John 20, 22-23). It is the Holy Spirit
who consecrates this oil through the Bishop’s invocation. During which
time, all concelebrating priests will join in silence, by extending
their right hands toward the Chrism, signifying their participation in
his authority, through which Christ Himself sanctifies and builds up His
body, the Church.
At the end of the liturgy, the holy oils are distributed to the priests of the diocese, for their respective parishes.
It is recommended that each parish keep the vessels containing the Holy Oil in a special clear glass cabinet called an ambry, were they can be viewed by all the faithful. Many newer churches have an ambry,
which is usually located close to the baptismal font. It reminds all
who see it of the anointing which unites and strengthens us to live as
one body in Christ, and comes to us through ministry of His Church.
On Monday March 25th, the Annual Chrism Mass will be held at Fatima R.C. Church, Curepe at 5pm. Our parish representatives are Margaret & Kumar Mahabir.