1,000 attend Chrism Mass at Norwich RC Cathedral
Around 1,000 people marked a “significant moment in the life of the Diocese of East Anglia” on Wednesday night (March 22) at the annual Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich, during which priestly promises were renewed and sacred oils blessed.
The Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, welcomed clergy and laity from parishes right across the Diocese while asking people to pray for those who lost their lives and those who had perpetrated the earlier terrorist acts in Belgium.
“This Chrism Mass is always a very significant moment in the life of our Diocese,” said Bishop Alan. “We are united in our Catholic faith and in prayer as we prepare to celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord.
“At the heart of the Chrism Mass is the blessing of the three holy oils,” said Bishop Alan in his homily. “Oil is an outward sign of the Holy Spirit. When we are anointed with it, it is a sure sign that the Lord has touched our lives in a very powerful way.
“Oil also speaks to us of the very person and ministry of Jesus Christ – the title Christ means ‘the anointed one’. Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit in a unique way and is strengthened so that he may carry out his Father’s work and redeem the world through his Passion, death and resurrection.
“We too are the anointed ones. Christians – people who belong to Christ and share in His anointing and have been touched by his Holy Spirit,” said Bishop Alan. “Each year, these holy oils remind us of what being an anointed one must mean for us.
The three holy oils are the Oil of Catechumens (used during the sacrament of baptism), the Oil for the Sick (used to anoint the sick) and the sacred Oil of Chrism (used to anoint those who God commissions to make him known in the world).
The renewal of priestly promises was then followed by the blessing of the three oils which were, at the end of the Mass, collected by the seven diocesan Deans for distribution to their parishes.
All were invited to have a hot drink and a hot cross bun in the Narthex before leaving.
Pictured above is Bishop Alan, with the holy oils.
Click here to see a full picture gallery from the Chrism Mass