Tag Archives: Chrism Mass

Coronavirus: Chrism Mass Oils, Renewal of Priestly Promises, Praying for Priests

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For any LEOs wanting to get a hold of me for arrest, fine, or both, for apparently having broken the Federal, State and Mecklenburg County, NC, declared State of Emergency regulations regarding “Stay at Home” orders so that I might fetch the Sacred Chrism, the Oil of the Infirm and the Oil of Catechumens consecrated at that Chrism Mass Tuesday morning, know that any presumed breaking of the law is simply not true.

The Chrism Mass this year, sadly even if necessarily and prudentially, saw in attendance only the good Bishop, a couple of deacons and just a few of the priests more local to the Cathedral. This Mass is essential – critical if you want to use technical vocabulary – for the free exercise of religion, as the consecrated oils confected in this most extraordinary Mass with very elaborate ceremony and awesome consecratory prayers, are used for the Ordination Rite of Priests, for Baptism and Confirmation and the Anointing of the Sick, the latter also known as the Last Rites which are somewhat more common in these Coronavirus times.

Since the assistance – during that Mass – of the rest of the priests including myself was not considered critical, it was arranged through the powers that be that I would arrive at the Cathedral after the last of the good and holy deacons filling the little distribution bottles of the Sacred Oils would have finished their work for all the parishes and missions of entire diocese (that’s really a lot of little bottles!) and would have then forthwith left the campus of the Cathedral in Charlotte (to the back-right of the picture above), so that I, quite alone, could retrieve, quite alone, the package of Oils for all the parishes of the Smoky Mountain Vicariate, the extreme western region of North Carolina.

That’s how it worked out. That package was placed inside the back entrance of the rectory of the Cathedral (to the lower right in the picture above). I was out of my car for perhaps 30 seconds, and had my N-95 mask in place. I jumped back in the car and headed straight back, making for a more than 400 mile round trip, about eight or nine hours for me in the surprisingly somewhat heavy traffic and parking-lot-on-Interstate-26 construction zones with subsequent traffic jams.

While still driving – or parking on the highway as the case may be – a good and holy deacon who had assisted with that package of Oils called me, asking whether I had retrieved the package. The inhabitants of the Cathedral wanted to know if I had already grabbed that package, concerned for its safety (but perhaps also wondering if it was safe to venture forth, since, who knows if I could also be a carrier of Coronavirus). I posit that just for humor, but I would totally respect that concern as well.

As it turns out, that may well be true. But that’s for another post. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, being saddened by not having been able to attend the Chrism Mass itself to assist with the consecration of the Sacred Chrism and the blessing of the other oils, and to renew the promises of the priesthood with my fellow priests, I mentioned my sadness to the good and holy deacon, throwing out the thought that perhaps we priests might be able to get together at another time to recite these promises together, hoping, in doing this, that this good and holy deacon might mention this to the good Bishop. All deacons are good and holy, by the way, as they have to put up with us priests. :-)

The good and holy deacon immediately offered that the priests retreat always in the first full week of October would be an opportune time. I concurred and thanked him for this wonderful suggestion. I’m hoping he will put this to the good Bishop. Here is the rite of those promises. There are parts for the Bishop and the laity as well. I hope everyone will pray that we ever so weak priests can keep these promises. I will recite them later this Holy Thursday morning…


After the Homily, the Bishop speaks with the Priests in these or similar words.

Beloved sons, on the anniversary of that day when Christ our Lord conferred his priesthood on his Apostles and on us, are you resolved to renew in the presence of your Bishop and God’s holy people, the promises you once made?

The Priests, all together, respond: I am.

Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him, denying yourselves and confirming those promises about sacred duties towards Christ and his Church which, prompted by love of him, you willingly and joyfully pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?

Priests: I am.

Are you resolved to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist and the other liturgical rites and to discharge faithfully the sacred office of teaching, following Christ the Head and Shepherd, not seeking any gain, but moved only by zeal for souls?

Priests: I am.

Then, turned towards the people, the Bishop continues:

As for you, dearest sons and daughters, pray for your Priests, that the Lord may pour out his gifts abundantly upon them, and keep them faithful as ministers of Christ, the High Priest, so that they may lead you to him, who is the source of salvation.

People: Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

And pray also for me, that I may be faithful to the apostolic office entrusted to me in my lowliness and that in your midst I may be made day by day a living and more perfect image of Christ, the Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Teacher and the Servant of all.

People: Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

Bishop: May the Lord keep us all in his charity and lead all of us, shepherds and flock, to eternal life.

All: Amen.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Prayer, Priesthood

Update: Chrism Mass & little kid artists *Je suis un enfant terrible* Kryptos!

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At first, just the first part of this post was put up in favor of eliciting some art-appreciation comments from readers. Really fantastic comments came in: Chrism Mass and little kid artists… I hesitate, therefore, to put up my always way too imaginative perspective, but I am the way I am, and I can’t be anyone else, so, here goes nothing. The following two paragraphs are the entirety of that post; what follows after is the update.

//// The little kid artists at Sacred Heart school were again tasked this year with coming up with original one of a kind place-mats for the meal for the priests after the Chrism Mass. Not looking at the place-mats, I just sat down any old place and then, oh my, took in this well thought out prophesy-prayer place-mat. Nothing is coincidental, is it? I showed this later to the neighbor at the hermitage and he got all choked up, as did I. He prays for priests all the time…

Here’s my take on this, some random thoughts. Of course, I’m just reading into whatever I want, but it’s my place-mat, right? :-) It’s all probably just geometric designs. But since I have a very active imagination (which can be a good thing), follow me in my art appreciation. We’ll end up in… ////

…a Libyan prison… um… in my imagination!

  • The point of view of the artist, guessing the perspective of the priest looking on, is very specific. In my imagination anyway, we’re looking out the window of a plane in a steep climb right after lifting up from the runway. About the only airport in the world like this is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, because…
  • With the blue on either side, not above, mind you, I’d say we’re looking at the Potomac and Four Mile Run rivers to either side of Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Why’s that? Where else but in just such a cemetery do you see paved roads through green grass? Those buried there laid down their lives for their fellow man, the greatest love ever. That would be a good state of soul for priests, would it not? And there is kind of a patriotic theme of sorts.
  • And then there’s the central scene, which the artist has ably zeroed us in on. It’s a prophesy for the priest and the wish of the artist, who is a tremendous theologian. He depicts the Holy Mass, the Last Supper, the Sacrament, as united with the Sacrifice on Calvary: both the Chalice with the Blood being poured out along with the Body being handed over as united with the Cross of Calvary. Great, that. Stunning. His wish is that God protects and serves, protects and blesses the priest. I’m guessing this all has provenance in a LEO family, a military family, a family that flies a lot, also up to DC. (Such an imagination I have!) Anyway, the protection is the very presence of Jesus, the blessing is, mind you, the blessing of the Cross. The idea is that the priest needs that particular kind of protection and blessing.
  • In the background of the Cross and Eucharistic Sacrifice there are 21 stripes, red and white, 12 red (the number of Apostles), red being for the Apostles and for martyrdom, interspersed with the white of purity. One recalls the two crowns of martyrdom and purity that our Lady offered to Maximilian Kolbe. He took both.
  • But then the red stripes also look like prison bars, don’t they? This comes to mind from Father Gordon MacRae (about) at TheseStoneWalls, with which I help him really a lot.

GORDON MACRAE

  • And maybe a prison where there is a lot of violence (what with the red), as with hostages… O.K., I only think of that because I was once being taken in the Jordan valley by bunch of thugs until their main guy told them to let me go… memories…

charles de gaulle airport tunnel terminal

And then I remembered a three part dream I had on three successive nights in early October 2017, not a nightmare by any stretch, but not pleasant, a detailed dream. After being abducted into a van (first dream) and transferred through Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris (second dream), I ended up before a kind of makeshift military tribunal in Libya, the proceedings being filmed and the judge’s face being especially detailed (third dream), who I was able to look up. I wrote about those dreams months ago: Update (prequel): Nightmare, two nights in a row now [So, three nights] This is what happens when you have a really active imagination. Good for entertainment. I bet you were wondering how we would end up in Libya.

After all that… back to reality… What we have is an admonition to the priest to be open to the reception of blessing and protection from Jesus, whose superabundant divine mercy endures for ever. Amen.

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Chrism Mass and little kid artists…

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The little kid artists at Sacred Heart school were again tasked this year with coming up with original one of a kind place-mats for the meal for the priests after the Chrism Mass. Not looking at the place-mats, I just sat down any old place and then, oh my, took in this well thought out prophesy-prayer place-mat. Nothing is coincidental, is it? I showed this later to the neighbor at the hermitage and he got all choked up, as did I. He prays for priests all the time…

Here’s my take on this, some random thoughts. Of course, I’m just reading into whatever I want, but it’s my place-mat, right? :-) It’s all probably just geometric designs. But since I have a very active imagination (which can be a good thing), follow me in my art appreciation. We’ll end up in… ///

I erased the rest of this post in favor of seeing what some of you might say about this…

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy

Flores for the Immaculate Conception (anoited priestly fraternity edition)

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Holy Tuesday was Chrism Mass day in Charlotte Diocese, the best diocese in the world. The largest numbers of priests in the history of the diocese showed up for this Mass not only to assist in the consecration of the Chrism, but also to renew their priestly promises which are ever so ecclesial, ever so Christological, ever so sacramental, ever so sacrificial, ever so evangelical, ever so immersing of the priest who is to be in the world but not of the world. I promised to Continue reading

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Filed under Flores, Vocations