Chrism Mass 2019

By Mary Brazell, 18 April 2019
Chrism Mass 2019 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


A packed St Patrick’s Cathedral saw the faithful from parishes, religious orders, migrant chaplaincies, agencies and ministries across the Diocese of Parramatta come together for the annual Chrism Mass.

The Chrism Mass, an important celebration held during Holy Week, gathers clergy and parish representatives from every parish across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

VIEW: Images from the Chrism Mass below or click here.

Chrism Mass 2019 (102)

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv was the principal celebrant at this year’s Chrism Mass, held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, on Wednesday, 17 April. The Mass was concelebrated by Vicars General Very Rev Peter Williams and Very Rev Chris de Souza, Very Rev Bob Bossini, Dean of the Cathedral, and the presbyterate of the Diocese of Parramatta, assisted by the deacons.

In his homily, Bishop Vincent reflected on the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday, and how it is a metaphor for the rebuilding of the global Church.

“We have a formidable task of rebuilding the very foundations of what it means to be a Gospel-centred Church in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis,” Bishop Vincent said.

“Now is the time for us to rebuild the Church not necessarily into a proud and powerful institution reminiscent of some bygone era. Rather, our task during this time of cleansing and purification is to become what we are meant to be: salt of the earth and light of the world.”

“During the time of the Roman persecution, the Church gathered in places like the catacombs. It was poor, persecuted and few in numbers. Yet, it was a powerhouse of prayer, love and solidarity.

“Today, in the midst of diminishment, we can learn to spread the fragrance of the Gospel and to shine like the Church of the catacombs,” Bishop Vincent said.

READ: Bishop Vincent’s Homily from the Chrism Mass in full here.

During the Mass, the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick were blessed, and the Oil of Chrism consecrated.

“Tonight, we consecrate the sacred oils, which will be used for the ministry to those in need. In this way, we enact God’s intent to heal, restore, strengthen and transform their lives,” Bishop Vincent said.

“We extend the ministry of Jesus in such a way that the Church can be the embodiment of the Good News for all.

“This is fundamentally our rebuilding project. The Church must be a place of promise and freedom. We must live out the radical vision of powerlessness of the Servant Lord.

“As we celebrate this Chrism Mass, let us commit ourselves to be the Church that strengthens the weak, heals the broken-hearted, lifts up the fallen and enables all to enter into the communion of the God of love.” Bishop Vincent said.

Priests from the Diocese of Parramatta also renewed their commitment to priestly service.

During the rite, all priests are called to be more united with Christ and more closely conformed to him and to be resolved to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist and the other liturgical rites.

Following Communion, parish priests and representatives of their parish receive the Oils from Bishop Vincent.

These holy oils are to be used in the parish during the year for celebrating the Sacraments of Baptism, Anointing of the Sick and Confirmation.

Sr Mary-Louise Walsh, Liturgy Educator, Office for Worship, Diocese of Parramatta, said that the Chrism Mass is an important gathering for the Diocese of Parramatta.

“In the Chrism Mass, the Diocese gathers together as the Body of Christ, symbolising our unity with one another and the Bishop,” she said.

“There was an air of excitement as people gathered almost an hour and a half before the Mass began.

“The Cathedral Choir enhanced the atmosphere – the singing was beautiful and drew you immediately into the Mass,” she said.

A light supper was served in the Cathedral Hall at the conclusion of the ceremony.

VIEW: Images from the Chrism Mass below or click here.

Chrism Mass 2019 (102)



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