Saturday, March 5, 2016

The First Ordinariate Chrism Mass with Its Bishop

Since the Anglican/Episcopalian Ordinariate in North America, named for The Chair of St. Peter, now has an ordained Bishop as its ordinary, he will celebrate the first Chrism Mass for the Ordinariate this Holy Week:

On March 17 at 7 pm, Bishop Steven J. Lopes, the recently ordained first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, will come to Washington, D.C. to celebrate a historic Chrism Mass.

The Chrism Mass will be at St. Luke’s at Immaculate Conception Church, an Ordinariate parish in downtown Washington. This is a historic event because Bishop Lopes will be celebrating the very first Chrism Mass for the Ordinariate.

The Most Reverend Carlo Maria ViganĂ², Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, will be in attendance. As the Holy Father’s personal representative to the U.S., Archbishop ViganĂ²’s presence at the Ordinariate’s Chrism Mass is a powerful sign of the Holy See’s support and encouragement for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

A Chrism Mass is the Mass at which a bishop blesses the holy oils that will be used in his diocese throughout the year to baptize and confirm catechumens and for the sick. Since only a bishop can bless the holy oils, Ordinariate priests have until now obtained the oils used for anointing from the geographical dioceses in which they reside. During the Mass, the priests of the Ordinariate will renew their priestly promises, as well.

“It is an honor that Bishop Lopes has chosen to come to St. Luke’s for his first Chrism Mass, which is a landmark event in the life of the Ordinariate,” Father Mark Lewis, pastor of St. Luke’s, said.

A recent article in the U.K. Catholic Herald bore the headline, “Why You Should Attend A Chrism Mass at Least Once in Your Life.” The author was struck that many people, some as yet unborn, would be anointed with the oils blessed at that Mass. The Chrism Mass at St. Luke’s at Immaculate Conception will be additionally interesting because it will be the first Chrism Mass in the Catholic Church celebrated with Divine Worship: The Missal, the newly propagated Missal which blends language from the Anglican tradition with a fully Catholic Mass.

The Ordinaries of the Ordinariates in the U.K. and Australia are Monsignors, former Anglican ministers who are married and thus not eligible for the episcopate. In England, for example the Apostolic Nuncio, The Most Reverend Antonio Mennini, is the principal celebrant at the Chrism Mass, receiving the vows of obedience from the priests and deacons on behalf of the Pope.

More about St. Luke's at Immaculate Conception here.

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