Chrism Mass is night of blessings and promises Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
chrism mass 2016
Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison blesses sacred oils during the annual Chrism Mass at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison on March 22. He is assisted by diocesan seminarians Jared Holzhuter, left, and David Keyes. To view or purchase photos, go to (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison thanked people from throughout the Diocese of Madison for coming to the annual “holy night” of the Chrism Mass held at St. Maria Goretti Church on March 22.

At this Mass, oils to be used in sacraments during the coming year are blessed, including the Oils of the Sick, of Catechumens, and of Chrism.

Also during the Mass, the priests of the diocese renew their vows of service to the Church.

As the procession lined up in the church corridor, the evening’s music ministers, the Madison Diocesan Choir -- directed by Patrick Gorman -- along with instrumentalists, performed the introit and procession hymn.

The ‘holy night’ begins

As everyone joined in singing “O God, beyond all praising,” the procession entered the church.

First was the honor guard: the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, along with the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard Assembly 1200 from Madison.

Also in the procession, ahead of Bishop Morlino, who was the principal celebrant, were diocesan seminarians -- who were Mass servers --and concelebrating priests from the Diocese of Madison.

Beverly Hartberg from St. Christopher Parish in Verona and Paoli and Steve Zoulek from St. John the Baptist Parish in Montello served as readers. Sue Gudenkauf from St. Dennis Parish in Madison was the interpreter for the hearing impaired.

Members of St. Maria Goretti Parish served as ushers and greeters.

Bishop delivers homily

Bishop Morlino began his homily recognizing a recently installed plaque in the floor commemorating the 22 hours when the relics of St. Maria Goretti were at the church and were venerated by more than 13,000 people last October.

“It was a wonderful day for the diocese,” the bishop said.

Reflecting on the Chrism Mass evening as a whole, the bishop continued saying the “key word” for the night was “consecration.”

“We are here to consecrate holy oils . . . and they will be used to consecrate those who are to be baptized as they come into the Church. They will be used to consecrate those who are sick so that the Lord may give them help, according to his will,” the bishop said, along with the oil of Chrism used in the ordination of priests.

“We’re a consecrated people,” Bishop Morlino added, “we’re a consecrated priesthood and that means we are set apart.”

“The Church is meant to be a marvel to all who look upon her,” he said.

Priests renew commitment and oils are blessed

Following Bishop Morlino’s homily was the Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service.

Priests from the diocese stood up and renewed the promises they made at their ordinations, promised a resolve to be more united with Jesus, and promised a resolve not to seek any gain, but to be moved only by zeal for souls.

Following the prayer, the oils were presented to the bishop.

The Oil of the Catechumens was brought forth by catechumen Jessica Jacobs and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Director Marilynn Rebman from Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon.

The Oil of the Sick was brought forth by parish nurses from throughout the Diocese of Madison.

The Sacred Chrism was brought forth by Morgan Casper and Justin Grimes from St. Joseph Parish in East Bristol and Jackson Hemauer and Celia Blau from St. Olaf Parish in DeForest -- young people who will soon be confirmed.

The bread and wine were brought forth by Tim, Linda, and Marian Meylor, parishioners from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Darlington, Calamine, Elk Grove, Seymour, and Truman.

Mixing a perfume with the oil, Bishop Morlino blessed the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens and consecrated the Sacred Chrism, while “O Redeemer” was sung by the congregation.

Following Communion, Fr. Eric Sternberg -- pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Wisconsin Dells and diocesan Presbyteral Council chair -- called each parish forth by its vicariate to receive the oils to take back to their parishes.

The oils were used at each parish during the Easter Triduum and will be used throughout the year.

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