Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 1, 2002
Chrism Mass unites archdiocese
Priests, laity stream from all over to bring home the holy oils
By RENATO GANDIA
"This is a great celebration in our family of faith."
- Archbishop Thomas Collins
At the Mass, Collins, retired Archbishop Joseph MacNeil and 92 priests renewed their commitment to priestly service.
The archbishop urged the people to pray that all Christians be patient and dedicated in the service of the Lord.
"Pray for those whom God called to the ordained ministry that they may truly be the compassionate presence of Christ for the people."
He also repeatedly asked the people to pray for more vocations to the priesthood, religious life and lay ministry.
Before Collins blessed the oils and consecrated the chrism, he explained that the sweet smelling chrism signifies the Holy Spirit, the gift of Christ, who is the anointed one.
Three kinds of oils were blessed at the Mass: Oil of the Catechumens, the first oil used in Baptism; Oil of the Sick, used in Anointing of the Sick, and the Sacred Chrism, which is used in Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders.
These oils were later distributed to the representatives and pastors of different parishes.
Mary Tremblett of Grande Cache attended the celebration for the second time representing Holy Cross Parish.
"It was a wonderful celebration. It's just wonderful to see all the priests. It was really moving."
Tremblett loved the music. "It gave you shivers, goose bumps. It was really very emotional seeing the whole archdiocese come together to celebrate our faith."
This year, the choir was not positioned at the altar behind the clergy. They occupied a space on the left and right sides of the church with the congregation. This was to invite more active participation from the people in singing the hymns.
Donna Gamache of Stettler, said the celebration was awesome. "Seeing all the priests of the diocese . . . the choir . . . the whole celebration . . . the worship part of it."
Navy Lt. (Rev) Melchor Talan commented, "It is always good to witness the gathering of the priests and the laity as a sign of communion and community, praising and worshipping God and celebrating the Paschal Mystery."
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