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Diocesan Chrism Mass takes place at Chichester Cathedral (posted 12 April 2017)

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Diocesan Chrism Mass takes place at Chichester Cathedral

On Tuesday 11th April 2017, at 12noon, the Diocesan Chrism Mass took place at Chichester Cathedral.  The Cathedral welcomed around 600 people to this annual service including large numbers of clergy from across the Diocese of Chichester.  The service provides bishops, priests and deacons with an opportunity in Holy Week to renew the vows they made at their ordinations. This was followed by the Blessing of the Oils.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, delivered his annual address at the Chrism Mass and clearly linked his 2017 address to the "Year of the Bible" theme, recognised across all the parishes in the Diocese this year as part of a five year strategy for the renewal of ministry for mission.

He told the congregation: "In our diocesan observation of a Year of the Bible, the renewal of ordination commitment in this Chrism Eucharist is an opportunity to reflect on the centrality of the Word of God in the Scriptures as the light in which all our actions - liturgical, human, social, artistic, and political - are to be undertaken."  To read the Bishop's address in full please click here.

This special service included 'The Blessing of the Oils'.  Historically there are three different oils used for anointing and these are specially blessed by the Bishop at the Chrism Mass, so called because one of the oils used is called 'Chrism'.  The names of the oils are the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens, which is used in baptism, and the Holy Chrism which is the oil used to anoint people at their Confirmation.  This oil is also used in the consecration of altars and church buildings.

For centuries, ministers have joined the Bishop during Holy Week for the blessing of these oils.  At the end of the liturgy, the oils are distributed to the clergy and other representatives of the parishes in the diocese.  These oils replace those blessed last year and will be used in the ministry of the Church throughout the coming year.

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