Sunday, April 9, 2006

Chrism Mass

My mom and I were honored when our parish's Director of Liturgical Ministries asked us (at the request of the pastor, Father Jim Sichko) to represent St. Mark at the Lexington Doicese's Annual Chrism Mass. We were encouraged to bring our families to this "very nice celebration."

He was right - it was a very nice celebration, though for our kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) it was a little longer of a Mass than they are used to. As the "banner carrier" I had to be at Christ the King Cathedral at 9:30. The Mass started at 10:30 and ended at about 12:30. Not the usual school Mass (40 minutes), weekday Mass (25 minutes) or Saturday night Mass (45 minutes) the kids are used to. But, then there was alot packed into the Chrism Mass.

The Mass was attended by at least two representatives of each church in the Lexington Diocese. Additionally, almost all the preists and deacons and deaconate candidates were there as well. Parishes were asked to encourage parishioners to the celebration. We had about ten people (including my family of 5 and my mom) come from St. Mark and St. Stephen.

Bishop Gainer was the principal celebrant of the Mass, with the Lexington Diocese Priests being concelebrants. The Master of Ceremonies was our own Director of Liturgical and Collegiate Ministries!

The Chrism Mass continued as a regular Mass would, with the Rite od Recommitment to Priestly Service and the Procession and Blessing of the Oils occurring after the Homily. The Distribution of Holy Oils proceeded after the Prayer After Communion.

As I was sitting in the pew before Mass, it dawned on me how Universal the Church really is. Here I was, a single parishioner from one of 69 Catholic Churches in the Lexington Diocese, which is one of six dioceses in the Louisville Province, which is one of 35 Provinces in the United States which is..... Well you get the picture. I was very humbled to be a part of this ceremony. I wanted to do more, to somehow get to know my fellow Catholic within this Diocese.

I decided, while holding the St. Mark banner during the Distribution of Holy Oils, that I would go on a pilgrimage which would take me to all the churches in our diocese. As I went over it in my head, I realised that going to one church a week would not only take over a year, but would make me very disconnected with my own parish - just the opposite goal I wanted to achieve. So instead, with it being very difficult for me to comprehend being part of the "instant gratification generation", I decided my family and I would go yo one church per month, taking us almost six years to complete! That's providing the churches are still in operation and no new churches have been added.

I will post more on my family's pilgrimage later as I get some of the details worked out!

3 comments: said...

And very universal. :) My family and I did exactly what you did here at a Chrism Mass in one of our four Ontario Diocese, last night.

Anonymous said...

Your passion for Catholic thought and insight is inspirational! The efforts you are putting forth will lead people to Christ! Please tackle the difficult question of why the local Catholic school (St Mark School)is being torn apart by internal strife and conflict. Having good Catholic teachers (with many years 15+ of uplifting and spiritual service) leave the school! Many people are hurt and dismayed by these actions.

Moneybags said...

Congrats on being able to go to the Chrism Mass. You are about the 4th or 5th blogger so far that I know has gone. I think I might ask to go next year since I've never been to one.