Merry Chrism Mass!

2 Apr

This week, the bishop of each respective Catholic diocese throughout the world, in the company of many of his priests and deacons, will celebrate the Chrism Mass. This Mass typically takes place at the cathedral or some other central location that will accommodate a large number of concelebrants. Archbishop Naumann will celebrate the Chrism Mass for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:00 a.m. at the Savior Pastoral Center chapel.

At the Chrism Mass, the bishop blesses the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens, and most notably the chrism that will be used throughout the diocese in the coming year.

Our family likes to attend this Mass whenever we can. Not only does it prepare us for the rest of the Holy Week liturgies, but it is a singularly beautiful manifestation of the local Church in all its splendor and richness. I recommend it highly to you and yours.

And if you are unable to attend this year, it still might be fruitful to privately contemplate some of the prayers and blessings used at this Mass. Just to give you a taste, here is just one of the forms of the consecratory prayer used in blessing the chrism:

Rite of Consecrating the Chrism

Let us pray that God our almighty Father will bless this oil so that all who are anointed with it may be inwardly transformed and come to share in eternal salvation.

God our maker, source of all growth in holiness, accept the joyful thanks and praise we offer in the name of your Church.

In the beginning, at your command, the earth produced fruit-bearing trees. From the fruit of the olive tree you have provided us with oil for holy chrism. The prophet David sang of the life and joy that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of your love.

After the avenging flood, the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch annouced your gift of peace. This was a sign of a greater gift to come. Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men, and by the anointing with olive oil you make us radiant with your joy.

At your command, Aaron was washed with water, and your servant Moses, his brother, anointed him priest. This too foreshadowed greater things to come. After your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, asked John for baptism in the waters of Jordan, you sent the Spirit upon him in the form of a dove and by the witness of your own voice you declared him to be your only, well-beloved Son. In this you clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David, that Christ would be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond his fellow men.

And so, Father, we ask you to bless + this oil you have created. Fill it with the power of your Holy Spirit through Christ your Son. It is from him that chrism takes its name and with chrism you have anointed for yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs.

Make this chrism a sign of life and salvation for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism. Wash away the evil they have inherited from sinful Adam, and when they are anointed with this holy oil make them temples of your glory, radiant with the goodness of life that has its source in you.

Through this sign of chrism grant them royal, priestly, and prophetic honor, and clothe them with incorruption. Let this be indeed the chrism of salvation for those who will be born again of water and the Holy Spirit. May they come to share eternal life in the glory of your kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

One Response to “Merry Chrism Mass!”

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  1. Holy Week 2013 | - March 25, 2013

    […] Merry Chrism Mass! This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:00 a.m. at Savior Pastoral Center. […]

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