Mass of the Sacred ChrismSaturday 28th November 2020
On 27 November, Bishop John celebrated the postponed Chrism Mass, livestreamed from Salford Cathedral as a celebration of the priesthood in these unusual times.
The Chrism Mass is the occasion on which the bishop blesses the holy oils, and when the priests renew their promises of ordination to serve God and his people.
There are three oils that are blessed at the Chrism Mass: that of the sick, that of chrism, and that of catechumens. These are used wherever there is a sacramental anointing, such as the anointing of the sick, the anointing of those about to be or newly baptised, and the anointing of priests.
Usually at the Chrism Mass, Salford Cathedral is filled with clergy from across the diocese. This year, many members of the clergy across our diocese joined the livestream of the Chrism Mass from their own parishes.
In his homily, Bishop John spoke directly to clergy of the diocese. He began by sharing his thanks to all priests who have been supporting families through funerals with limited numbers, engaged couples who must delay their marriages and parents postponing the Baptism of their children. He recognised the daily difficulties and trials faced by priests this year.
He shared his reflections on how we looked after our brothers and sisters during the first lockdown and his hopes for Churches to be seen as essential in future lockdowns, now that we know more about the virus and how to mitigate its risks. He described clergy’s reaction to the pandemic – livestreaming, regularly corresponding with parish communities and care for those isolating – as magnificent.
He called on clergy in the diocese to continue in care for our communities and to continue with this new form of Ministry experienced through this strange year, saying “Our Ministry is the service of those around us.” He asked clergy to consider what we can learn from the experiences of the pandemic, and not to leave these things behind as life returns to normal.
Bishop John recognised our Journey to 2030, in which the landscape is likely to be different due to reduced numbers of clergy. He called on clergy to reflect on their Ministry.
You can view the Chrism Mass Order of Service by clicking the link