Denver, Colo., Mar 28, 2018 / 13:55 pm
Any priest will tell you that Easter Sunday Mass is one of the most highly attended of the year, alongside Christmas Mass and, at least in the United States, Mass on Ash Wednesday. But Easter Sunday Mass, while popular, is not the only important or beautiful liturgy celebrated during the days of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.
In fact, the liturgies of Holy Week are designed to foster in Catholics an intimate and historical connection to the Church, and to death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Timothy O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, gave CNA insight into the symbolism and foundations to the Chrism Mass, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Tenebrae, Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and Easter Vigil.
The Chrism Mass is one of the largest annual gatherings of the priests in each diocese. During the Mass, clergy are encouraged to renew the promises made at ordination, and laity are invited to renew their baptismal promises.
Traditionally celebrated on the morning of Holy Thursday, the diocesan bishop blesses three sacred oils: the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens, and the Chrism Oil. The oils are distributed to the parishes in the diocese and are used for the sacraments of anointing of the sick, ordination, confirmation, and baptism.
The Oil of Catechumens “will be used for anointing before baptism, as well as anointing catechumens throughout the process in which they enter the Church” O’Malley explained.
Chrism “is the traditionally fragrant oil which is used for the ordination of priests, used for post-baptismal anointing for infant baptism, and is used for the sacrament of confirmation,” he added.
Oil of the Sick is used in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.