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08 April 2009

Chrism Mass & Holy Week

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James of the Diocese of Brooklyn.  What a great time of worship.

The Chrism Mass collects all the priests, deacons and bishops of the diocese in a liturgical celebration traditionally held on Holy Thursday morning.  For scheduling purposes, the mass is usually moved by the Ordinary of the diocese to a morning or evening later in Holy Week.

The purpose of this mass is manifold: get all the priests together with the bishop; bless the Oils (Sick, Catechumenate, Chrism); give the bishop the opportunity to give his priests a "pep-talk"; allow the deacons, priests and bishops to renew their vows... the list could keep going. 

For all of the liturgical beauty that we see at this mass, there was one sight which stood particularly out to me.  Sitting in a nearly empty cathedral gathering my prayers last night, I saw a zuchetto on the far-side of the church.  An old, old bishop.  Saying his rosary.  Quietly, by himself and completely absorbed in his prayer.  

Yeah, I hope I'm still that concerned about my holiness tomorrow, no less 50-something years from now.  The Lord gives us back the 100-fold indeed.


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