Chrism Mass set for Holy Thursday

BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, April 18, at 10 am at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport. All are invited to attend.

More than 300 priests and deacons will process into the cathedral for the yearly Chrism Mass, in which priests renew their priestly promises and the bishop blesses the sacramental oils that are used throughout the year in parishes.

At last year’s Chrism Mass, the bishop addressed the priests gathered, saying, “There is no greater work we do than to offer this sacrifice in the name of Christ. We hold this sacred, awesome mystery in our hands. This mystery of grace is wrapped up in our unworthiness. It is the one sacrifice that has set all of creation free.”

The Chrism Mass traditionally manifests the unity of priests with their bishops and includes a homily in which the bishop directly addresses his brother priests in attendance.

During Bishop Caggiano’s homily last year, he urged the priests to remain “joyful, obedient, and faithful” and not to get discouraged.

During the service, the bishop blesses the Oil of the Catechumens, the Oil of the Infirm and the Holy Chrism (a mixture of olive oil and balsam used in ordinations and confirmation.)

After Mass, the holy oils that were consecrated on the altar are distributed to priests who will use them in their parishes when blessing the sick and in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

Chrism Masses are traditionally celebrated during Holy Week or on the morning of Holy Thursday. It is a beautiful liturgy that celebrates the communion of the Church.