Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chrism Mass

Chrism Mass in 2011 at St Francis De Sales Cathedral, Baker City
In most Dioceses, the Chrism Mass is held on Holy Thursday morning, but in other Dioceses, like ours in Baker, it is held a week earlier for the simple reason that priests have to travel hundreds of miles to get here. So today, the present Apostolic Administrator William Skylstad will be celebrating the Mass with all the priests, as well as some deacons and lay people in attendance. During the Mass, he will consecrate three kinds of oil to be used in various sacraments around the Diocese. Three containers filled with oil will be brought up towards the altar, and the Bishop will bless the Oil of the Sick, to be used for anointing of the sick, as well as the Oil of Catechumens, to be used during the baptismal ceremony. Another container of Oil is mixed with chrism, to be used for confirmation, consecration of priests at ordination as well as during the baptism ceremony. These three oils are then poured into small containers for each of the priests present to take home with them to their respective parish. It is a complex operation, but is done with great mastery here at the Cathedral parish. This ceremony is done only in the Cathedral of each Diocese. During the Mass, the priests also renew their vows to their bishop. The photos were taken over the past two years at St Francis De Sales Cathedral, with Bishop William Skylstad seen above with the priests during the blessing of oils, and former Bishop Robert Vasa below.

Chrism Mass from 2008 with Bishop Vasa as celebrant

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