Chrism Mass brings 'life, hope and joy' during Holy Week
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:
Dr. Kamila Valenta: Cuba, other post-Communist countries need evangelizationThanks to the hard work of diplomats, politicians, and the Catholic Church, the relationship between the United States and Cuba has recently warmed up and the two countries established diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. After...
The Poor Clares: Reflections on the Year for Consecrated Life: Ora et labora: Active, contemplative vocationsIf you search a list of Catholic religious orders, institutes and congregations, you will likely be amazed at the number of charisms present in consecrated life. That is a reflection of the multifaceted beauty of our Church and the inexhaustible...
Fred Gallagher: Grieving as a CatholicIn my professional life I have written on grief and the grieving process. A few months ago my younger brother lost his wife tragically. I see his grief circulating through him daily and I am amazed at his fortitude and his faith in the face...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: Happy homiliesWhat we think is the right road The goal of a homily is to entertain people, it should be brief, and it should be free from annoying or unsettling content. The best homilies today feature humor, props and ploys to ensure that people pay attention....
Denise Bossert: Our faith is a beautiful treasureMy friend attended a class on life after a divorce. She is Catholic, someone who loves the faith and simply wants to heal and be whole for Christ and His Church. She lives in fidelity to the faith she has received. Her counselor suggested that...
Matthew Newsome: Praying with both lungsThe sight of people carrying tasselled prayer ropes may be common in Eastern monasteries, but it is decidedly less so in the southern Appalachian mountains. So when my pastor and I were comparing our chotkis after Mass one recent Sunday, it's...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: LeadershipWhat we think is the right road A good leader knows what he or she is about; a good leader organizes, trains, motivates, supervises and ensures success. A good leader does all these things – while pointing to the latest management guidebook...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Homilies should be interesting, funny and shortI want to compliment the fine column by Deacon James Toner in the Aug. 14 Catholic News Herald, "Happy homilies." I don't think I have seen a better one than that in years. Read the column by...
The Fatima Secret: Persecution of the ChurchRecently we have all been stunned by the increasing persecutions of the Church throughout the world: thousands of Christians either killed or made homeless, the legalistic attacks on Judeo-Christian...
Grateful for your support of retired religiousOn behalf of more than 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious, please accept my prayerful thanks for your diocese's...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy