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Mass of the Holy Oils (Chrism Mass), Cathedral of the Holy Name

April 6, 2017

Holy Oils

“The Chrism Mass is one of the most solemn liturgies of the Church. This liturgical celebration, at which the holy oils are blessed and consecrated, also acknowledges the ministry of the priesthood instituted by Christ.”

-excerpt from Commentary

The Bishops and Priests of the Archdiocese all came together for this Eucharist, at which His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, was the main celebrant.

The prayer of renewal of commitment to the priestly service, an integral part of the liturgy, was followed by the Procession with the Holy Oils, brought to the altar by three priests.

  • The Oil of the Sick: This oil is blessed during the Eucharistic Prayer, immediately before the Doxology and the Great Amen.
    The oil is used at the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in order to bring God’s strength to those in need.
  • The Oil of Catechumens: Both the Oil of Catechumens and the Chrism Oil are blessed after the prayer after Communion. The Oil of Catechumens is used to strengthen those preparing for Baptism.
  • The Sacred Chrism Oil: This oil is used in the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation, Ordinations and in the dedication of altars and churches. Balsam, a fragrant perfume, is added to the Oil to serve as a reminder for us to spread the fragrance of Christ all around. 

In his homily, Cardinal Gracias talked about how Jesus persisted in his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, despite the many oppositions and obstacles that came his way. He related this to the work of the priests, whom Christ has appointed as his modern-day apostles.

His Eminence elaborated on the pastoral program to be followed, consisting of works like renewal of SCCs in the parish, service to the poor, preparation and preaching of better and more impactful homilies, in order to better themselves in their vocation, and thus in their mission of proclaiming God’s word and making His presence known.

Cardinal Oswald went on to suggest ways in which the priests could go about their mission in their respective parishes, emphasizing the need to gather accurate data of the parishioners.To achieve this, he encouraged the priests to visit the homes of their parishioners and spend time with them, understanding the various problems each of them face. This would help with proper planning of the programs in the parish. He also spoke about the crucial need to empower the laity and deepen their faith, so that they could work in unity with the priests.

In conclusion, His Eminence expressed gratitude to God for blessing the Archdiocese so immensely not just with enthusiastic priests, bishops and deacons, but also with lay people willing to go the extra mile to make their parish – and ultimately, the Archdiocese – a holy and more vibrant one. The Archdiocese of Bombay would, consequently, serve as a model of collaboration, coordination, cooperation and integration.

The Cathedral Choir supported the liturgy with joyful praise that encouraged the congregation to participate wholeheartedly.

Prior to the final blessing, His Eminence thanked the congregation – the clergy, religious and laity – for being a part of the Eucharistic Celebration, as well as all those who worked behind the scenes to ensure that all was as it should be.

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