Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will consecrate the Chrism — the holy oil used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders — at an evening Mass on March 22 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

During the liturgy that evening, which begins at 6:30 p.m., a large vessel of olive oil will be carried to the altar. Bishop Barber will add balsam and perfume to the olive oil, then mix the contents. He will consecrate the chrism, and breathe over it, a gesture symbolizing the infusion of the Holy Spirit.

Only a bishop can consecrate the Chrism.

The Chrism will be carried from the altar, and placed in bottles for the representatives from the diocese’s 84 parishes to bring back to their churches. There they will transfer the chrism to the vessel at the parish.

Each parish representative will bring two vessels to the cathedral. The vessel containing the Oil of the Sick, and the vessel containing the Oil of the Catechumens are brought filled with new, fresh, plain olive oil.

The oil bearer from each parish will place vessels in the chapels. During the Mass, the Oils of the Sick and Catechumens will be blessed by the bishop in each of the chapels.

At the end of the Mass, the oil bearer will bring the Chrism, and the Oils of the Sick and Catechumens back to her or his parish.

Chrism is made new each year. Any leftover oils are buried or burned. At the Cathedral Parish, they are burned in the Easter Vigil fire.

During the Mass, the priests of the Diocese of Oakland renew their vows. The bishop may call seminarians to Holy Orders during the evening’s rite.

Chrism Mass

When: 6:30 p.m. March 22

Where: Cathedral of
Christ the Light
2121 Harrison St., Oakland

From Catholic Voice Oakland.