Chrism Mass 2023
Today, 5th April 2023, the bishop of Ndola diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr Benjamin Phiri, celebrated chrism mass at the Cathedral of Christ the king, Ndola.
During the liturgy, the entire assembly is called to renew its baptismal promises; deacons and priests also renew their vow of obedience to the local bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people.
The following statement from the Second Vatican Council can help us understand the significance of the Chrism Mass for the Church:
“The bishop is to be considered the high priest of his flock from whom the life of his people in Christ is in some way derived and on whom it in some way depends. Therefore, all should hold in the greatest esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church. They must be convinced that the principal manifestation of the Church consists in the full, active participation of all God’s holy people in the same liturgical celebrations, especially in the same Eucharist, in one prayer, at one altar, at which the bishop presides, surrounded by his college of priests and by his ministers. “
(Second Vatican Council. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), No. 41)
During the liturgy, the bishop also blesses the Holy Oils for use in the coming year.
o Oil of the Sick
o Oil of Catechumens
o Sacred Chrism
Whenever the Holy Oils are used in a diocese, the ministry of the bishop who consecrated them is symbolically present.
This quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church gives a good summary of the importance of the three holy oils:
“Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life. The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and Ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off ‘the aroma of Christ.’ [2 Cor 2, 15])”
Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1294
Below are a few highlights.