Diocesan News

Solemn Chrism Mass Slated for Tonight at Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph

The Chrism Mass for Holy Week 2022 starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight on NET-TV with a procession of 275 priests, followed by the Mass. It involves the traditional blessing of Chrism oil. (Tablet archives)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The Chrism Mass, one of the most solemn services of the liturgical calendar, is expected to bring more than 650 Catholic clergy, laity, and other faithful tonight to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

The service starts at 7:30 p.m. with a procession of 275 priests, followed by the Mass. It involves the traditional blessing of Chrism oil.

This Chrism Mass, however, will be the first celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan who was installed in November 2021 to lead the Diocese of Brooklyn. His predecessor, Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio, is expected to attend the Mass, along with auxiliary bishops for the diocese.

The Mass will likely fill the co-cathedral. Also attending will be 67 deacons and 32 deacons’ wives, 168 representatives of the laity, 28 religious nuns, 42 seminarians, and 30 ushers/deacon candidates. With a half dozen diocesan employees and some discerners, and the total comes out to about 670 people.

In recent years in the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Mass has been held on the Tuesday of Holy Week.

“Part of the beauty of Holy Week is the celebration of the Chrism Mass,” said Father Chris Heanue, rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. “That’s the Mass in which our diocesan Bishop blesses the oils that will be used liturgically throughout the year.”

Father Heanue told The Tablet earlier that the different oils are blessed, including the oil of catechumens, which is an oil that is used in baptism, the oil of the sick, as well as the oil the Chrism, a particularly blessed oil.

“They’re all blessed oils,” he said. “But the Chrism oil is an oil that unites our baptism. It’s used for Baptism. It unites our Confirmation. Also a priest, when he is ordained, his hands are blessed with that sacred Chrism oil.”

During the Mass, the diocese priests and deacons renewed the promises they made at their ordinations. In addition, the priests renew their promise of obedience to the bishop. 

The Mass also celebrates jubilarians — priests who have reached special milestones in their years of service. Laypersons also can use this Mass as an opportunity to renew a pledge of support for the bishop.

The bishop traditionally uses the Chrism Mass’s occasion to deliver a message to his priests in his homily.

Live coverage of the Mass begins at 7 p.m. on Currents News. To watch: CLICK HERE.