As we continue through Holy Week, hundreds of members of the faithful from around the Diocese of Parramatta gathered on Wednesday 13 April 2022 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta for the annual Chrism Mass.
In welcoming clergy and parishioners Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta said it was wonderful that so many were present at the Diocese’s ‘mother church’ to bless and consecrate the oils.
The Mass centres on the blessing of the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and the consecration of the Sacred Chrism. Chrism is a blend of aromatic oils, fragrances, and pure olive oil and has a distinct perfume which fills the air when it is used.
Members of different parishes brought the oils to be consecrated by the bishop. Deacon Adam Carlow of St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford and Helen Zammit from St John XXIII Parish Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens presented the Oil of the Sick; the Oil of the Catechumens was presented by Deacon Michael Tan from St Madeleine Sophie Barat Parish, Kenthurst and Artelle Lenthall from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills; and Deacon Tony Hoban from St Luke’s Catholic Faith Community, Marsden Park, and George Stanton from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish presented the Oil of Chrism.
“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 lives,” Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, said.
Alongside the blessing of the oils, the clergy of the Diocese renew their priestly commitment during the Chrism Mass.
“Tonight is the one time of the year that my brothers in the ordained ministry come to the Cathedral to join me in that renewal of their commitment to live and to serve like Christ,” Bishop Vincent said.
“I’m truly indebted to each and every one of you, not just being here this evening in joining in this celebration of the Chrism Mass, but also in being the face of Christ in your respective communities of faith.
“Dearest sons and daughters, pray for your priests that the Lord may pour out His gifts abundantly upon them and keep them faithful as Ministers of Christ, the High Priest, so that they may lead you to Him who is the source of salvation.”
During his homily, Bishop Vincent encouraged his brothers and sisters in ministry not to shirk from their call to be a visible sacrament of God’s love.
“The Church must not lose sight of the task of putting flesh on the marrow of the Gospel. Prophetic reframing, or making the Good News alive in our lived context, is part of our DNA as a Paschal people.
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“In the spirit of humility and repentance, we need to focus our attention squarely on how authentic we are in being the sacrament of God’s compassion and care for the least and the last.
“We can only be sure of a new springtime for the Church when we are prepared to die to that which is not of Christ, to empty ourselves of all that is contrary to the Gospel.
“Let us commit ourselves to be the Church that strengthens the weak, heals the broken-hearted, lifts up the fallen and invites all to the communion of love.”
Following Mass, representatives from parishes and chaplaincies across the Diocese received their oils, which they will store in a place visible to parishioners and visitors.
The oils are used throughout the year during the Sacraments of Baptism, Anointing of the Sick, Confirmation, and Ordination, and in the dedication of churches and altars.
Re-watch the 2022 Chrism Mass from St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta here.
View images from the 2022 Chrism Mass here or below.