For our Diocese and State of Utah, Bishop John C. Wester celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. The mass started with a processional of all involved, such as the Utah Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, the children and adult choirs, deacons, priests and then the bishop. Mass was started and went as usual until Bishop Wester asked the priests to reaffirmed their commitment to serve the Lord as well as the deacons and the congregation. Then the oils are brought up in three separate parts and blessed separately and the Chrism is consecrated (an ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam) for the entire diocese took place at this mass. From that point, mass continued as usual with communion, except for the incredible recessional (which was a reverse of the amazing processional) as everyone sang “Lift High the Cross”. The whole mass lasted about two hours, but seemed like much less time, probably because I felt so blessed to be there. I urge anyone who has never attended a Chrism Mass to please make an effort and go. Beauty, humility, reaffirmation & the Holy Spirit must be experienced to be appreciated.
You may ask yourself, “What is a Chrism Mass?” It is an annual Mass, before Easter, con-celebrated in the cathedral by the bishop and priests of a diocese in communion with their people. It is meant to publicly express the unity of the diocese, the unity of the deacons, priests and their bishop, and to celebrate clergy vocations and other ministries.
Let us join as one body & pray for all those who will be anointed with the oils that will be blessed at the Chrism Mass for use this year: the elect who will commence their faith journey; the sick to be healed; the infants; children & adults who will be baptized; the young & old who will be confirmed; those who will be ordained priest & bishop. Amen.