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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Chrism Masses Celebrated in Brussels and Zurich

Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels
One of the most significant liturgies at this time of the year is the Chrism Mass. At this service, since the earliest days of the Church, the bishop blesses the oil of baptism, the oil of the sick and the oil of chrism. The modern service includes the reaffirmation of ministerial vows in which bishops, priests and deacons renew their commitment to service together in Christ’s Church. In recent years in the Church of England, this is also a time when Readers (licensed lay ministers) can also recommit themselves to their ministry of the word which they share with the ordained.

The Revd Canon Dr Jack McDonald was the preacher at the service held in the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels on Tuesday 3 April. Canon MacDonald is the priest-in-charge of Sts Mary and Martha, Leuven, and is a canon theologian of the Pro-Cathedral. In his sermon he reminded the clergy and readers of the essence of Christian ministry: "... Jesus offers us a value judgement on the entire exercise of power, with an admonition to his disciples that the key concept in leadership – their leadership of the church after the ascension – is that of service".

The distribution of oils after the service is also a solemn affair, normally involving a deacon and some rarely seen special vestments.

Also on Tuesday, Bishop Geoffrey presided at a Chrism Mass in St Andrew's Church in Zurich. In a vast diocese such as ours, holding two services simultaneously in different parts of Europe enables larger numbers of clergy and readers to attend. 
St Andrew's, Zurich

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