Faithful, priests to gather for Chrism Mass
April 8, 2014
HOUSTON — Every year during Holy Week, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are invited to gather with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo for the celebration of the Chrism Mass — one of the most solemn and significant events of the liturgical year.
Hundreds of priests from the Archdiocese are expected to concelebrate the Mass, when all of the oils used in sacramental ministry throughout the Archdiocese are blessed and the Sacred Chrism is consecrated by Cardinal DiNardo.
According to the Roman Missal, “Chrism is a sign: by Baptism Christians are plunged into the paschal mystery of Christ; they die with Him, are buried with Him, and rise with Him; they are sharers in His royal and prophetic priesthood. By confirmation Christians receive the spiritual anointing of the Spirit who is given to them.”
The Oil of the Sick is used within the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick in order to bring God’s strength to those in need.
“It is the prayer of the Church that those who are anointed in the Sacrament of the Sick will be healed in body, soul and spirit and delivered from every affliction,” said David Wood, Office of Worship director.
7 p.m., April 15
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
1111 St. Joseph Pkwy., Houston
Celebrant: Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
The Oil of Catechumens is blessed so that those who prepare for baptism will be “given wisdom and strength to turn away from sin, be led to a deeper understanding of the Gospel and to take on the challenge of Christian living,” Wood said.
In Baptism Christians enter the womb of the Church to be reborn in Christ. As they emerge from the waters of baptism, they are anointed with Sacred Chrism “to show their unity with Christ who was anointed as priest, prophet and king,” Wood said. “Like Christ, all Christians are called to offer their lives completely to God, to proclaim the Good News of God’s love, and to be faithful stewards of all that God has given them. In Confirmation, the faithful are anointed on the forehead with the Sacred Chrism and are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit which has given new life.”
Chrism is also used in the ordination of priests and in the consecration of altars and churches.
“In each case, when Chrism is used, the identity of that being anointed is changed forever,” Wood said. “In the consecration the Cardinal asks that those anointed following baptism will become temples of God’s glory and radiant with the goodness of life whose source is God.”
The Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the bishop’s priesthood and signifies the close unity of the priests with him.
In his first Chrism Mass homily as Holy Father last year in Rome, Pope Francis called on all priests to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, saying a good priest anoints his people “with the oil of gladness,” by preaching the Gospel with the soothing, comforting words of God. If people leave Mass “looking as if they have heard good news,” then the priest has clearly done his job well, the pope said.
“When we have this relationship with God and with his people, and his grace passes through us, then we are priests, mediators between God and men,” he said.
The pope asked the faithful to “be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.”
All are invited to attend the Chrism Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 7 p.m., April 15.