You are Invited
Please join the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester and the priests in the diocese, for the annual blessing of the oils at the Chrism Mass. These oils will be distributed among the parishes and institutions of the Diocese of Manchester for use during the next year. At this special Mass, all priests will be given the opportunity to renew their priestly promises during the Liturgy.
When: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Time: Mass begins at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Saint Joseph Cathedral, corner of Lowell and Pine Streets, Manchester, NH
RSVP: April 4, 2017
About the Chrism Mass
At the Chrism Mass -- which is usually the largest annual gathering of clergy and faithful most dioceses have -- the priests renew the promises they made at their ordination. The Mass takes its name from the most eminent of the three holy oils which the bishop commissions for his local church's use over the following year.
While the Oil of the Sick, used for those who seek the anointing, and the Oil of the Catechumens, which is imposed on those preparing for baptism, are simply "blessed," the Sacred Chrism is "consecrated," and all the priests present participate in the latter moment by extending their hands toward the vessel containing it as the bishop says the prayer of consecration.
The Chrism is used at the ordination of priests and bishops, baptisms, confirmations, the consecration of altars and the blessing of churches, where the walls are smeared with it in the shape of the sign of the cross.
As part of the consecration of the Chrism, balsam is poured into the oil, which gives it a sweet smell intended to remind those who encounter it of the "odor of sanctity" to which those people and things who are marked with it, and by extension all of us, are called to strive for.
The Chrism Mass also provides an opportunity for the faithful of the diocese to show support for their priests. Please consider submitting your name and attend the Chrism Mass.
General Registration - This is the registration form to use if you plan to attend the Chrism Mass. Deacons, religious, and the Catholic faithful of New Hampshire are invited to attend the Chrism Mass. If you plan to attend the Chrism Mass, please select the general admission option. Anyone who wishes to attend, RSVP by April 4, 2017.
Priest Registration - This is the registration form to use for priests who plan to attend the Chrism Mass. Priests who plan on attending the Chrism Mass, please select the Priest Registration option. RSVP by April 4, 2017.
Registration for Oil Bearers - Each parish or institution that is to receive Holy Oils must register two representatives to receive the Holy Oils at the Chrism Mass. Use this form to designate your Oil Bearers. RSVP by April 4, 2017.
Instructions for Handling Holy Oils
Optional Rite for receiving Holy Oils in Parish
From the Sacramentary Supplement, published by Catholic Book Publishing, Co., New York, 1994, p. 31.
The oil of the sick, the oil of catechumes, and the holy chrism, which are blessed by the bishop during the Chrism Mass, may be presented to and received by the local parish community.
The reception of the holy oils may take place before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday or on another suitable day after the celebration of the Chrism Mass.
The oils should be reserved in a secure repository in the sanctuary or near the baptismal font.
The oils, in suitable vessels, can be carried in a procession prior to Mass, by members of the assembly.
The oils are received by the priest and are then placed on a suitable prepared table in the sanctuary or in the repository where they will be reserved.
As each of the oils is presented, words may be used to explain the significance of the particular oil.
The people's response may be sung.