Bishop William Crean extends an invitation to all in the diocese to gather in the cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass at St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, during which the blessing of the holy oils will take place. The holy oils will be used in the coming year throughout the diocese for baptisms, confirmations, the ordination of priests, and the anointing of the sick. After the Mass, everyone is invited to the Park Road Centre, Cobh for light refreshments.
Let us gather together in communion with the Lord and to be witnesses the blessing of the holy oils which will be used to breathe new life on many of the members of our diocese in the coming year.
The priests of the diocese will renew the promises of priesthood.
At the Chrism Mass, the Bishop will bless three holy oils:
The Oil of Catechumens (oleum catechumenorum) – used to prepare catechumens for baptism to symbolise the individual’s need for the help and strength of God to overcome sin and to live as a child of God. “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore, He has anointed me” (Lk 4:18).
The Oil of the Infirm (oleum infirmorum) – used in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. “Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the priests of the Church. They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health. If he has committed any sins, forgiveness will be his” (Jas 5:14-15).
Holy Chrism (sacrum chrisma) – this oil is made of a mixture of olive oil and balsam. The Chrism oil is used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders. For the blessing of this oil, the bishop breathes over the vessel of chrism which symbolises the Holy Spirit coming down to consecrate the oil and the sacraments with which those receiving them will be given a new life. Our Lord Jesus Christ did the same to the Apostles on the night of Easter while saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22).