We celebrated our Chrism Mass last week.
Normally we celebrate this Mass around Holy Week, before Easter. The ‘lock down’ because of the Coronavirus made this impossible.
The oils used in the various Sacraments are blessed every year at this Mass.
a) The oil of Catechumens used for anointing those about to be Baptised. It is pure olive oil. This oil has been traditionally used for healing purposes (as well, of course, for eating). This anointing symbolises the strength that Christ gives us when we receive Baptism.
b) The oil of the sick. This is again pure olive oil used for anointing those who are sick, for strength and healing of mind, body, and spirit. I have seen some powerful healings through this Sacrament.
c) The Chrism. This is a mixture of olive oil and multiple spices and perfumes. Chrism has traditionally been used for the crowning of monarchs and the anointing of religious leaders. It is used for Confirmation, for anointing infants after Baptism, (adults are Confirmed straight after Baptism, infants are normally Confirmed when they are old enough, i.e. in the Latin rite to which most Catholics belong). It is also used to anoint the hands of priests at Ordination. It is used for the consecration of Bishops at their Ordination.
During this Mass, we all renewed our commitment to follow Christ.
The priests renewed their commitment to serve God and God’s people.
It is a wonderful renewal for us all, and a joyful occasion.
Since our priests were up in Darwin for their retreat, they were all able to be present
Sacraments bring about a reality that they symbolise.
The use of oil and perfumes reminds us of the sacredness of material things since all is charged with the grandeur of God!
It reminds us that in Jesus, the Word of God becoming flesh, the material universe takes on a new sacredness in Him.
‘Grace builds on nature’
When used wisely, material realities are gifts from God.