PORTLAND—Bishop Richard J. Malone, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Portland, will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conceptionin Portland.
The Chrism Mass is one of the most solemn liturgies of the entire Catholic Church year. At this Mass, in the presence of priests, deacons, religious and laity from throughout the diocese, Bishop Malone will bless the oil of the sick and the oil of the catechumens, and he will consecrate the sacred Chrism.
The first is used to anoint the sick, bringing God’s health, strength and forgiveness to those in need. The oil of the catechumens is blessed to strengthen those preparing for baptism to avoid sin and to grow in faith. A catechumen is one who is preparing for baptism in the Catholic Church. The sacred Chrism is used for baptism, confirmation, ordination of priests and the consecration of altars. Bishops are the only ordained ministers who can consecrate chrism.
During the Mass, these oils, which will be used throughout the year, will be distributed to a select number of priests and their parishioners, representing all of the parishes in the Diocese of Portland.
The Chrism Mass also serves as an opportunity for priests in the diocese to renew their commitment to priestly service and to receive the prayers and support of the people.
For priests from the northern and eastern parts of the state who cannot attend the Chrism Mass, there will be a celebration of the Eucharist and a distribution of the holy oils at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at St. Mary of the Visitation Church on 112 Military St. in Houlton.
For further information, contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland at (207) 321-7810 or at dave.guthro@portlanddiocese.