Easter tradition sees blessing of Chrism oils
The Diocese of Buffalo has been on the Road to Renewal for quite a while now. The priests of the diocese renewed their own priestly promises during the annual Chrism Mass.
“Now this is what a cathedral should look like,” announced Bishop Michael W. Fisher as he looked at the packed St. Joseph Cathedral on April 4. Priests, deacons and laity had gathered to celebrate the traditional Chrism Mass and renew their “promises of joy of our fraternity of priests and our call to serve as God’s holy people.”
In his homily, the bishop expressed how happy he was to see the turnout that filled the cathedral.
“It’s good that we’re breaking out of that Covid cocoon finally, and we can come together as family and truly celebrate this Triduum this year,” he said.
The Gospel reading spoke of Jesus starting the formal part of His ministry.
“The oils that we use this evening are something that we use as human beings to help strengthen us, sometimes to heal us. They are indicative. They are symbols of our humanity as we use them for sacred purposes and bless them,” Bishop Fisher explained. “At this chrism Mass, we seek renewal and refreshment in the life of our faith. All of us, whether we are layperson or cleric, we are called to holiness, equally called to feed that life of faith. In blessing these oils, we ask God to refresh the sacraments in which they are used – baptism, confirmation, the anointing of the sick, the ordination of priests and bishops. In the renewal of priestly promises, we priests dedicate ourselves anew every year to our ministry and to the service that we have been called to in service to our people. And we look confidently to all of our faithful people who support us with their love and their prayers.”
The bishop led the priests, who flowed from the sanctuary into the knave of the cathedral, in a renewal of their priestly promise, asking them if they are resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus, and if they are resolved to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God.
“Today, in our turn, we renew, my brother priests, our priestly promises to Him,” the bishop said. “And in consequence, we make promises also to each other. We promise to be present and attentive to one another beyond the circles of our immediate friendships, beyond the scope of our individual parish or working circumstances, to be faithful to each other simply because it is the same joy that springs up in the heart of each one of us. Because we love the same Lord and want to serve Him.”
After they all agreed, the bishop blessed the oils of catechumens, of informs, and Holy Chrism.
Each priest received bottles of the oils to take back to their parishes for the Easter vigil Mass.