FALL RIVER — Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass for the Fall River Diocese at 10 a.m. on Holy Thursday, April 9, in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River.
This traditional Holy Week liturgy will be live streamed to the clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese during this unprecedented time of suspended public Mass celebrations and restrictions on gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. All are encouraged to take part in the Mass virtually through the live stream on the Fall River Diocesan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fallriverdiocese
In the context of the Chrism Mass, three oils will be blessed by Bishop da Cunha for use in the sacramental life of the Fall River Diocese throughout the year. Oil is an ancient symbol of strengthening, healing and preparation. The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens consist of an olive oil and are blessed in the same way holy water is blessed. The Oil of the Sick is used for the anointing of all who are ill and in need of God’s healing; the Oil of the Catechumens is used for the anointing of infants, children and adults who are preparing for baptism.
The Mass takes its name from the third oil, the Sacred Chrism, the most eminent of the three. It is olive oil mixed with balsam, and it will be consecrated by the bishop during the Mass. Sacred Chrism is used in baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, and the dedication and blessing of churches and altars.
After the Mass, the oils will be distributed to all parishes in the Diocese for their use in the year ahead.