Bishop Anthony presides at his first Chrism Mass
During Holy Week this year, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP presided at his first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Parramatta in St Patrick’s Cathedral.
|Chrism Mass 2010 Photography: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu.|
Bishop Anthony blessed the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and consecrated the Oil of Chrism. The oils were distributed to 56 communities across the Diocese of Parramatta to be used in the sacraments over the next 12 months.
During the Mass, Bishop Anthony and the priests also renewed their commitment to priestly service.
In his homily, Bishop Anthony said:
“Today, for the first time, I will bless the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick. This is a very moving moment: for these oils frame the whole of Christian life. Our life begins in Baptism, when the Oil of Catechumens calls babies and adults into the Communion of Saints on earth.
“Our life on earth ends when the Oil of the Sick, which comforts and heals those facing serious illness, effectively becomes an extreme unction that calls us into the Communion of Saints in heaven. Both are tools of the priest whose task it is to midwife new ones into the life of Christ and who cares for them to the end, even as they lie sick, dying, dead.
“Both are oils of gladness, for it is with joy that we join people to God at their beginning and with a harder but profounder joy that we consign them to Him at the end. So these two glad unctions frame, as it were, not just the whole Christian life but the particular mission of the priest.
“Today I will also breathe upon the Sacred Chrism and consecrate it as our greatest Oil of Gladness. This is the oil by which churches and altars are dedicated, set aside for God’s use as sacred places for the Divine Liturgy, by anointing the walls and altar.
“This is the oil by which Christian souls are dedicated, set aside for God’s use as His living temples, by crowning after Baptism and sealing in Confirmation.
“This is the oil by which Priests are dedicated, set aside for God’s use, as conduits of the divine to the human and the human to the divine, by anointing the hands that will offer the Holy Sacrifice.
“So the same Oil of Gladness which ordered the Word of God in Christ to be the Word of the Gospel in the Church, that same Oil of Gladness orders us priests to bring good news to every human heart, to every family, parish, school and service, to bring spiritual joy even amidst trial and tribulation, indeed especially amidst trial and tribulation.
“As the One whose terrible Passion and Glorious Resurrection we are so soon to celebrate was anointed with perfumed oil before He went to His Cross, so His priest is chrismed as an alter Christus, another Christ, bringing hope even out of desolation.
“Priests of Jesus Christ: know who and what you are. People of God, pray for and support your priests that they may be more truly that for which they were anointed.”
Read Full Text of Bishop Anthony’s Chrism Mass Homily Here
See more Chrism Mass photos by Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu Here
« Return to Catholic Outlook May 2010