The Bismarck Diocese celebrated the Chrism Mass on Monday, March 25 at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The Chrism Mass is traditionally held on the morning of Holy Thursday, although it can be celebrated any morning during Holy Week.
At the Mass, all priests in a diocese gather at the Cathedral and renew their priestly promises. The bishop also blesses three oils (the oil of catechumens, the oil of the infirm and holy chrism) which will be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the year.
Here is an excerpt from Bishop Kagan’s homily to priests at this year’s Chrism Mass:
“It is our privilege and responsibility as His priests to do today what He has done and has charged us to continue to do in His church. We are to bring glad tidings to the lowly, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to captives, and release to prisoners, especially those who are held captive and imprisoned by sin, by doubt and by loneliness. We are to announce a year of favor from the Lord, to comfort all who mourn, to give the oil of gladness and glorious mantel instead of a listless spirit. Understand what you do. Imitate what you celebrate. And conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s cross. What we do as priests is to be a sacrificing of ourselves for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. This can be accomplished by you and by me only if we do imitate what we celebrate and only if we are conformed to the Lord’s cross. By the grace of God, we are His priests."