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Viewpoints

Chrism Mass brings 'life, hope and joy' during Holy Week

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CHARLOTTE — Bishop Peter J. Jugis celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Charlotte on April 3. More than 80 priests concelebrated the two-hour Mass, including Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin, retired bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte, and Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., abbot of Belmont Abbey.

During the Chrism Mass, held each year during Holy Week prior to Easter, priests of the diocese renew their commitment of service to the Church, and Bishop Jugis blesses the holy oils used in the sacraments.

Consecrated religious and hundreds of lay faithful packed into the cathedral to hear the Good News of the Gospel and witness the sacred tradition of the blessing of the sacramental chrism.

Transitional Deacons Jason Barone, Matthew Codd and Peter Shaw also served the Mass. The oils blessed during the Chrism Mass will be used in their ordination to the priesthood on Saturday, June 2, at St. Mark Church in Huntersville.

"The Second Vatican Council Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' reminds us that the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are ordered each toward each other, and that each in its own way shares in the one priesthood of Christ," said Bishop Jugis at the beginning of his homily.

"How interesting that at this Chrism Mass where priests gather to renew their priestly promises and demonstrate their communion with their bishop and their concelebration, that there should also abound references to the priesthood of the faithful."

Bishop Jugis referred to the readings from Isaiah 61: 1-3 and Revelation 1: 5-8, which were read during the Liturgy of the Word.

"These references remind us that we are ordained priests for service to the whole people of God, that priesthood is service ... There is a marvelous complementarity of the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of the faithful – and all of this during the Chrism Mass," he added.

After the homily, the priests of the diocese made their renewal of commitment to priestly service, responding with a resounding "I am" to Bishop Jugis' inquiries about their resolve to faithfully minister to the people of God.

"You teach, you guide, you shepherd, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether it is accepted or not accepted ... the priest is absolutely essential to the world's salvation. Jesus entrusts His Real Presence in the Eucharist to you," Bishop Jugis said.

"Where would the world be without the priest's ministry and witness to Christ's love?"

As the vessels containing the sacred oils were brought forth to be blessed, Bishop Jugis prayed for the Holy Spirit to come upon them, praying for the people who will receive the holy oils used in the blessing of the sick and the candidates for baptism, as well as for those who will receive the sacred chrism in the sacraments of initiation and holy orders. He added balsam to the olive oil and also breathed over the glass vessels containing the oils.

At the conclusion of the Chrism Mass, he thanked everyone for their faithful service to the Church and to the diocese, and he encouraged everyone gathered to remember that "Jesus is our life. He is our hope. He is our joy."

— SueAnn Howell, staff writer (Photos by SueAnn Howell and Patricia Guilfoyle)

Editor's note: A photo gallery and video highlights from the Chrism Mass are featured below. And be sure to check our website each day for more coverage from Holy Week observances, as the faithful of the Diocese of Charlotte prepare for the celebration of Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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Video highlights from the Chrism Mass:

 


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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: