The annual Mass of Chrism will be celebrated on Saturday, April 13 in St Paul’s Cathedral in Springfield. Bishop Martins will preside, and the preacher will be Father Ben Hankinson, rector of Trinity, Mt Vernon.
The Chrism Mass has two focal points: It is an opportunity for the clergy of the diocese to publicly renew their ordination vows, in solidarity with the Bishop. It is also the occasion when oil is blessed by the Bishop, and carried back to the churches of the diocese by the clergy. There are actually two categories of oil that are blessed: the Oil of Chrism, for use in baptism and confirmation, and the Oil of the Sick, for use in the administration of the Sacrament of Unction.
This year, as an experiment (though it is an established custom in other dioceses), between the Blessing and the Dismissal, there will be an opportunity for those who so desire to come forward and receive the Sacrament of Unction—anointing with oil and laying-on of hands with prayer for healing. All who are in any way afflicted in body, mind, or spirit are welcome to come forward.
While the principal attendees of the Mass of Chrism have always been deacons and priests, the entire community of the diocese is welcome and encouraged to attend. The liturgy begins at 11am.