The diocese celebrated Chrism Mass April 11 at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Cary. Bishop Luis Zarama, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was principal celebrant and homilist.
It was the last Chrism Mass in the diocese to take place outside of a cathedral, as next year’s Chrism Mass will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh.
Chrism Mass is one of the most solemn and important liturgies of the liturgical year. During the Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick. He consecrates the Sacred Chrism, which is used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Ordination of Priests.
This special Mass brings together representatives from each parish, campus ministry, mission and other entities. It celebrates the ministry of priests serving in the diocese. More than 50 priests renewed their commitment to service and resolved to unite themselves more closely to Christ and to “be faithful ministers of the mysteries of God.”
In the homily, Bishop Zarama, who presided because the diocese is currently without a bishop, spoke about surprise.
“Allow [God] to surprise you every day. Because if it’s no surprise in our faith, what is our priesthood? How can we show up at the altar without the joy of what we are? That is the beauty. Yes, we will bring the oils. All of us in one way or another way have been touched by oil,” he said, noting the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. “And we need to give thanks to God because he is coming. The oils, the Eucharist, the word of God … all of this is needed for our own spiritual well-being.”
photos by Phil Roche and Diocese of Raleigh