Chrism Mass celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral

The Archdiocese is preparing to welcome new Christians into the Church following the consecration of the Holy Oils at today's Chrism Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.

In his homily, Archbishop Cushley said: "Now that we are at liberty to celebrate Mass in public, the time has come for us to make the preparations that we need to welcome new Christians into our midst.

"One of the means by which we do that is through the holy oils that will be consecrated this morning. That is why I have asked the Deans to be present in order to take a suitable amount of each of the three oils back with them to each Deanery, so that the initiation of Christians can begin as soon as possible."

The Archbishop also highlighted another important aspect of the Mass - the renewal of priestly promises. Normally all priests would be invited to make the renewal at the Mass, but Covid-19 prevented that happening this year. Instead, he asked clergy to make the renewal in their private morning prayer.

He said: "The renewal of the priestly promises is a token, of course, but it is an important one of the willingness of the clergy to be steadfast in their priestly promises, and therefore has become an important moment very close to our hearts. That is why it seemed important to me that we celebrate the Chrism Mass as soon as it was practically possible.

Image: Benedicta Lin

"Just as our Eucharistic abstinence over these last four months has intensified our appreciation of the Eucharist and of our Lord’s presence among us by that means, so the unique way by which all the priests in the Archdiocese will renew their priestly promises today is a poignant reminder of the crucial nature of the spiritual communion that we all share as priests with each other, and with our great high priest, Jesus Christ."

He finished: "My dear people, we priests are sinners; we are unworthy to be at your service, but by your prayers and support, we resolved today to serve you ever more faithfully. So please pray for your priests, and pray for me, that we may be good and holy ministers of the Word and of the Eucharist on your behalf."

Each Dean received the three oils to take with him back to his deanery for distribution. Read Archbishop Cushley's full homily here


Image: Benedicta Lin

All images: Paul McSherry (unless otherwise stated)