In Holy Week in this Diocese in Europe there are normally several Chrism Masses celebrated in various centres. I was scheduled to preside at those masses in Madrid and Rome, for instance, with Bishop Robert presiding in Brussels and Paris. But due to the Europe-wide lockdown, these services were cancelled.
However, Bishop Robert and I thought it would be fitting to have a service, streamed online, for the clergy and lay minsters to renew their vows, which is normally a part of this rite. A diocesan production team went into action and about 180 priests, deacons and lay ministers joined in the service yesterday. A "screen shot" of some of the participants is above. It was a new experience for all!
I had the privilege of preaching the homily. If you care to listen, it is here:
It was a privilege to give a word of encouragement to the clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers) in this strange time, when our ministries are so radically disrupted. Among my words to them:
“We will emerge after this crisis having discovered that the Spirit has enabled other ways for the life of the Church in its fullness to continue, and it will still be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is the Spirit that will guide us; it is the Spirit who guides the Church in all things; and we believe that the Spirit may even make all things new!......Our public liturgical life might have stopped but the spirit of common prayer and sharing faith and pastoral care has not stopped. You are renewing together with your people the ancient ways that nurture the Church, the daily office, lectio divina, family prayer, and these not only sustain us as we sojourn in this desert but will make us a stronger praying Church when we will have crossed the Jordan.”
The full video of the service and the texts (including the homily) can be found on the Diocesan website here: