On Wednesday, 31 March, Archbishop Patrick Kelly celebrated the Mass of Chrism with a packed congregation in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. During the Mass the priests present renewed their Commitment to Priestly Service and the Holy Oils to be used in churches throughout the Archdiocese in the coming year were blessed.
The Holy Oils blessed by the Archbishop were:
The Oil of the Sick which is used for anointing during the Sacrament of the Sick
The Oil of Catechumens used at Baptism
The Oil of Chrism which taking its name from Christ this is used in Baptism, Confirmation, at the Ordination of a priest or Bishop, and in the dedication of churches and altars.
Listen to the Introduction to Mass, Archbishop Patrick's Homily and the Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service:
Read the Introduction to Mass and Homily below:
Introduction to Mass and Homily preached by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, at the Mass of Chrism. 7.30 pm on Wednesday 31 March 2010 in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Lverpool.
Introduction to Mass:
Three people may be our guide for this year’s Mass of Chrism: and three words be the heart of the wisdom we receive:
Three people: John Henry Newman, whose glorious hymn we have just sung. Blessed Dominic Barberi, the poor Italian lowly Passionist,, whose shrine is among us so fittingly in St. Helens, town of the cross. He received John Henry Newman into full communion with us. And Pope Benedict who two days after announcing his visit to England, reminded thousands of Blessed Dominic’s part in Cardinal Newman’s rigorous, searching, often painful journey.
And three words from the Holy Father’s Lenten letter: charity, gift, salvation. He proclaims ‘Lent culminates in the Paschal Triduum in which this year, too, we shall celebrate the fullness of charity, gift, salvation’. Our response must be thanksgiving: we sing, in the setting first used at the Pentecost Day Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul at Baginton Airport, Coventry: it is there Pope Benedict will acclaim John Henry Newman: Blessed.
‘The fullness of charity, gift, salvation.’ My brother priests that is our whole life and being: the fullness of charity: in season and out of season we bear witness, in the words of the book of Revelation ‘to him who loves us’. And in other words of Saint John: ‘In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins’. Deus Caritas Est: ‘God is love’. And that Caritas, Charity, love even to not sparing his own Son we handle at every Mass.
Fullness of Charity: gift: salvation. Gift: through and with and in our Lord we may truly say: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me’. It is a prayer that overshadows us from our ordination day onwards: and it is all about gift. ‘The Da quaesumus omnipotens Deus in hunc famulum tuum: Give to this servant of yours. And a plea arose to the Holy Spirit as our hands were anointed: Veni, Creator Spiritus: Come Holy Ghost, Creator Come’. And Saint John gives us this assurance: ‘the anointing which you received from him abides in you…. Abide in him’.
Fullness of Charity: gift, salvation, Salvation: wholeness: integrity: we are called to make sure our heart, mind, desires are open to the ordaining prayer: Innova in viscoribus eius spiritum sanctitatis. Renew within him the Spirit of holiness.
Fullness of Charity: gift, salvation is the meaning of these next days. That we may fittingly celebrate the Paschal Triduum it is good to renew our surrender to the Father who created us, the Son who called us the Spirit who renews us as disciples, as ministers of word, sacrament, reconciliation.
As the Oil of the Sick is brought forward:
Blessed Dominic Barberi came from Italy longing to proclaim among us Christ crucified, our risen Lord. Over the centuries women and men have come to this island, to inspire, to serve, to bless. In our diocese service and care of the sick is blest by many from across the world. And like Dominic many strengthen our fidelity to our Lord. So today Michelle Lasmarias, Algeniza Panambo, from the Philippines and nursing in the Royal Liverpool Hospital bring forward the oil to be blest for the salvation of the sick and frail.
As the Oil of the Catechumens is brought forward:
Pope Benedict prayed that Lent would be for us all a time of intense knowledge of the mystery of Christ. Cardinal Newman’s hymn gave us the words: ‘O loving wisdom of our God’, ‘O wisest love’. The oil for catechumens that speaks of light, wisdom is brought forward by: Chloe Bedworth and Matthew Whitfield accompanied by their teachers Mr Hampton and Mrs Walsh from Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, Warrington, and Jordan Hunter and Jessica Isley from Cardinal Newman College, Preston: my old school by the way.
As the Oil of Chrism is brought forward:
The oil of chrism is used to trace in our life the image of Christ, self- sacrificing, selflessness to the point of the cross: he is Charity: Gift: Salvation. Today this oil is carried by members of the Order of the Cross and Passion: Blessed Dominic’s Order: Sister Elizabeth Cox, Sister Mary Curtin, Sister Patricia Redgrave, from the community in Liverpool and Father John Kearns, Chaplain at Her Majesty’s Prison for Young Offenders, Hindley.
At the Presentation of the Gifts:
Bread and wine carry our story of joys and hopes, sorrow and pain: tonight they carry the story of our whole diocesan family: they are carried by members of our Animate Team who serve as volunteers.