Sunday, 13 April 2014

Chrism Mass 2014

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
Following the Prayer after Communion, the concelebrating priests place the oils to be blessed on a table located in the center 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 prays the prayer of blessing over 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 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 this 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 April 14th, the Annual Chrism Mass will be held at St. Benedict’s Church, La Romaine at 5pm. Our parish representatives are Irvin & Ingrid Coutou.

PARISH FLASHBACK: Parish Representatives Dhanielle Smith (left) and Brent Durham (right) collecting the oils of catechumens from Deacon Tristram at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception back in 2011.

Picture Courtesy: CAMSEL

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