Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chrism Mass at St George's Cathedral

For the first time Southwark had its Chrism Mass on a day other than Maundy Thursday, i.e. today. Being the year of priesthood, a special sit-down lunch was organised for the priests after Mass in the newly refurbished Amigo Hall.

Bishop John Hine, our Diocesan Administrator, asked the congregation to forgive him for turning his back on them as he wanted to speak to the priests gathered behind and to the sides of the altar. As it happens, from where I and a number of other priests were, we couldn't see him or anything of the Mass, but what we heard was most encouraging.

Bishop John placed his comments in the context of the current crisis of scandals affecting the Church that might have left priests feeling confused, undermined, lost. He affirmed us in the sacrificial nature of the priesthood. We must acknowledge and embrace the life of sacrifice that priesthood entails. As it is the daily celebration of the Eucharist that identifies us as who we are and gives true meaning to our lives, how can we not see sacrifice as an essential aspect of our lives since we daily commemorate and make present sacramentaly the Sacrfice of Christ on the Cross?

I do not know if Bishop John was speaking from a script, from notes, or without these and he said other things which were very much worth hearing at this time. If the homily is published it will no doubt be on the diocesan website.

UPDATE: Bishop John's homily here.

The Chrism Mass was also an occasion to thank Archbishop-emeritus Kevin McDonald for his service to the diocese. A small envelope with a large cheque was presented to him and he reminisced over his 6 years at the helm of Southwark. We continue to keep him in our prayers as he continues to undergo treatment.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. For a while now our diocese has had the Chrism Mass the Thursday before Holy Week. One family from each parish comes and is given the Holy Oils to be used in their home parish for the year. then on Holy Thursday, at Mass the family brings up the Holy oils in procession.

    Does having it on a Wednesday still leave room for a Tenebrae service?


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