Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Chrism Mass

This morning I was at the Cathedral to concelebrate at the Chrism Mass with other priests of the diocese. I don't know how many we were but I should estimate that there were at least two hundred and fifty. The Chrism Mass is particularly significant for priests. It is not just that we come together in order to express our unity in the presbyterate (and also for a meal afterwards). It is also the annual occasion when we renew our priestly promises to serve Christ through the service of his people in prayer, Word and Sacrament.

The Cathedral was completely full which was nice to see particularly since in England Maundy Thursday is still a work day. Another nice touch is that for three years or so there has been a small group of women and young girls holding placards expressing their support for our priestly work. The placards have messages like "We love our priests" and "Thank you to our beloved priests". As we process in for the start of Mass we are presented with a little prayer card with an intercession for our ministry. The group seems to get bigger (and younger!) each year and I know from the comments as we were vesting that many of the priests are really touched by this little gesture of affection and thanks.

After the Chrism Mass we headed back to the parish where the Sacristan and servers had been preparing the Altar of Repose which looked lovely as usual.

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