FALL RIVER — Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., invites members of the Fall River Diocese to take part virtually in this year’s annual Chrism Mass. This traditional Holy Week liturgy will be celebrated at 2 p.m., on Tuesday, March 30, and livestreamed on the Fall River Diocesan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fallriverdiocese.
Bishop da Cunha will be principal celebrant and homilist of the Mass.
Priests ministering in the Fall River Diocese, both diocesan and religious, will gather with the Bishop in St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Mass during which they will renew their commitment to priestly service.
The three different oils to be used in the sacramental life of the Diocese throughout the year will be blessed by Bishop da Cunha in the context of the Chrism Mass.
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.