Cardinal DiNardo to celebrate Chrism Mass April 7
March 26, 2020
RE: Celebration of Archdiocesan Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 7, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to evolve, the external life of the Church has been challenged to adapt to unique circumstances. While anticipating the need to remain flexible as public guidelines continue to change, questions are being raised about Holy Week. The faithful can look to guidance from their pastors to see what form the celebration of Holy Week liturgies will take in their parishes.
In this update, I would like to provide some information about the annual Archdiocesan celebration of the Chrism Mass, scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
Each year at the Chrism Mass, the priests of the Archdiocese gather together in union with the bishop and along with many of the faithful of the local church during Holy Week to renew their priestly promises. At this Mass, the diocesan bishop consecrates the Sacred Chrism oil and blesses the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick for use in all of the parish churches for the celebration of the sacraments during the upcoming year.
After consulting with diocesan leaders and in consideration of recent guidance published by the Holy See, I have decided that the celebration of the Chrism Mass will still take place on Tuesday, April 7, albeit at an earlier time since we cannot yet anticipate the ability to open the church to the public. At 10:00 AM I will come to the Co-Cathedral with Bishop Sheltz to privately celebrate the Chrism Mass. I would ask my brother priests to take the time to participate with us in prayer remotely, especially taking the opportunity to prayerfully meditate and renew their priestly vows. Please be assured of my prayers for all of our priests as well.
Since under current public guidelines the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese are not able to congregate and will therefore not be able to take part in the Mass from the Cathedral church, we will plan to livestream the Chrism Mass through the Archdiocesan website (www.archgh.org) and social media channels for those who wish to join in prayer at that time.
Following the Chrism Mass, provisions will be made for the distribution of the blessed oils to the parishes and clergy in preparation for the Easter season. In a special way, our prayer will also be focused on the Oil of the Sick that will be used to anoint so many who are sick and suffering during this time of pandemic.
While we are saddened by our continued inability to be present to one another in person, the prayer of the Church transcends space and time. Even as we may feel helpless or unable to act as human beings at times, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit cannot be bound. As the Gospel of Luke reminded us yesterday on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, “Nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)