Today the Bishop celebrated the Diocesan Chrism Mass and consecrated the Holy Oils to be used in the coming 12 months by our priests in baptism, anointing the sick and dying, and used by the bishop at confirmations, the ordinations of priests and in the consecrating of various sacred items.
Bishop Damien, assisted by the Archdeacon, the senior priest in the diocese, Fr Raymond Thompson, celebrated at the Pro-Cathedral Church of St Augustine of Canterbury.
Traditionally the Chrism Mass is celebrated during the day on Maundy Thursday and all the clergy in a Diocese, or under the jurisdiction of the bishop, are invited to attend. Our custom for the past 10 years has been to hold the Chrism Mass on the Wednesday of Holy Week – as was the case this year. Unfortunately the geographical spread of our clergy across the country usually prevents clergy from attending, however the Oils will be distributed at the Diocesan Synod on Saturday 4th May at the Pro-Cathedral. Three Oils are blessed: the Oil for the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens and the Sacred Chrism.