Chrism Mass 2017

An important service in Holy Week will take place at Christ Church Cathedral on Maundy Thursday morning, April 13, 2017 at 10 a.m. Bishop John invites all Episcopalians of the diocese, lay and clergy, to join him for this Chrism Eucharist a day before the triduum commences on Good Friday. During the Chrism Eucharist, the Bishop will bless the oils used throughout the next year for baptisms and healing. In addition, the Bishop and clergy in attendance will reaffirm their Ordination Vows.

Are Holy Oils All the Same? There are three types oils used in liturgy and pastoral ministries in the Episcopal Church. Dating back to at least the second century A.D., Chrism (olive oil mixed with fragrant balsam) is used in anointing the foreheads of the newly baptized while the Oil of Catechumens (pure olive oil) is used for adult baptisms. Oil for the Sick (pure olive oil), is used in the rite of anointing the sick, or the laying on of hands “by which God’s grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind and body”, according to the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 861). For an overview of how holy oils were used in the Old and New Testament times, as well as explanations about when various liturgies were added to our prayer books (or were excluded) dating back to 1542, click here.