The Chrism Mass took place on Wednesday 13 April. Bishop Toal was joined by priests from across the Diocese, members of the Diocesan Choir and a capacity congregation. The entry procession was accompanied by the singing of “Praise to the Holiest in the Heights”, setting the tone of joy for the celebration. It was followed by the Russian Kyrie, the Bellahouston Gloria, and the sung Responsorial Psalm ( the Fitzpatrick setting of Ps.68).

In his homily, Bishop Toal referred to the First Reading (from Isaiah 61) and reminded those present that all the baptised share the Lord’s spirit as priests, kings and prophets, and have much to be thankful for. Priests and bishops have the further blessing of working in the service of Christ and his Body, and they need the support of the lay faithful. He also referred to the work which had taken up so much of his time in the past year- the preparation of the new Missal. The new translation of the congregational response “and with your spirit” invites the priest to keep his spirit truly with the Lord. The gift of the Spirit keeps us all as one, in a communion of life and love.

The Blessing of the Oils

The service continued with the priests present making their renewal of commitment to the service of God’s people, supported by the prayers of the congregation. Then the Holy Oils (Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and Oil of Chrism) were brought to the sanctuary and blessed by the Bishop for use in the Diocese over the coming year.

At the end of the Mass, there was the opportunity for clergy and people to come together in the Cathedral Hall over tea and home baking.

The congregation at the Chrism Mass