This Wednesday, 21st March, I will celebrate the Chrism Mass in St Columba’s Cathedral. It is one of the liturgical highlights of the year for our diocese. I will gather in our Mother Church with my brother priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful. During Mass I will bless the three Holy Oils which will be used for the celebration of the Sacraments in your parishes. The Oil of Catechumen will be used to anoint those about to be baptised; the Oil of Chrism for anointing people immediately after baptism, also for those being Confirmed and during Ordinations; the Oil of the Sick for those who are seriously ill. Through these Sacraments Christ continues his personal ministry in the lives of our people today. We have much to be grateful for!
The Mass of Chrism is usually celebrated in the morning of Holy Thursday and the priests renew their commitment to their sacred calling. For obvious reasons in Argyll and the Isles we celebrate our Chrism Mass a week early. I am moved as I invite our priests, gathered around the altar and surrounded by the lay faithful, to renew their commitment to Christ. Each day they strive to serve God and you in love and it is only right that we support them with our prayers and encouragement. It will also be an opportunity for us to pray together for Deacon Emmanuel who will be ordained in the Cathedral this June 21st.
I also love to see people gather from many of our parishes throughout the diocese. It expresses that we are one family in the Lord. On the day of your baptism you were anointed with the Oil of Chrism and consecrated to Christ. You too share in Christ’s priestly, prophetic and royal priesthood. During the Chrism Mass, it is good for us clergy to be inspired by the example of your faith but it is also an enriching experience for you to participate too.
After Mass priests and people have an opportunity to meet friends, old and new. The Chrism Mass begins at 7pm. Please come and join in our festival of Faith.