This year there will be two Chrism Masses.
St Ninian’s, Castle Douglas – Fri 23rd March, 12 noon, followed by lunch*
St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow – Sat 24th March, 4pm
I warmly invite you to attend whichever of these is more suitable for you. The liturgical colour is white or gold.
At this liturgy the ordained have the opportunity to reaffirm their ordination vows and with all who come to celebrate the healing and nurturing vocation of the whole Christian community. That’s why I am also writing to the Readers and Lay Reps asking them to come and to encourage members of congregations to be part of these Diocesan celebrations.
The Chrism Mass in the north of the Diocese will be at St Mary’s Cathedral. The Royal School of Church Music is having a singing day for their Scottish Voices Choir. They will be singing for us at the Chrism Mass. The Chrism Mass in the south of the Diocese will be at St Ninian’s, Castle Douglas, and will be followed by lunch, please read details below.
As part of the service, everyone present will be offered anointing with the oil consecrated during the liturgy. People will be there who are unlikely to have experienced this kind of service before and I hope that the offering of anointing to all will express something of the missional nature of our healing and nurturing vocation.
Three oils are consecrated. They are the oil of catechumens which can be used with those preparing for baptism (a liturgy is available for this), the oil of the sick for anointing those who seek healing and wholeness and at the time of death, and the oil of chrism for post-baptismal anointing, confirmation, the ordination of priests and bishops, and the consecration of churches and altars. The three oils are basically olive oil, but to the chrism is added balsam or oil of flowers which perfumes the oil. One early church writer described the perfume of chrism as “the Easter aroma, God’s grace incarnate through the sense of smell!”
So, in this special liturgy we celebrate and are drawn into Christ’s action to strengthen and protect, to heal and restore, and to set apart and seal for ministry. The Chrism Mass serves to open up these realities to all of us in the community of faith and to encourage those of us who are ordained to realise anew the wonder of our stewardship of these holy mysteries for God’s people and God’s world.
All blessings for the Lenten journey.
*For catering purposes at Castle Douglas please let Stephanie Dewhurst know if you are attending: firstname.lastname@example.org