By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Catholic faithful from across the Archdiocese of Louisville joined members of the presbyterate at the Cathedral of the Assumption April 11 for the annual Chrism Mass.
The oils used throughout the year in sacraments and other blessings were blessed and the sacred chrism was consecrated at the liturgy, which takes place each Holy Week in churches around the world.
The oil of the sick is used in the anointing of the sick; the oil of catechumens is used for those preparing to be baptized; and the chrism is reserved for use at baptisms, confirmations and holy orders and also the dedication of churches and altars.
The mood of the ancient celebration was a mix of solemnity and anticipation as parishioners of the archdiocese joined with other Catholics around the world for a ceremony steeped in ritual.
At the evening celebration, priests of the archdiocese also renewed their priestly promises. Members of the diaconate, seminarians in formation for the priesthood, those preparing to enter the church at the Easter Vigil and their sponsors and members of the Catholic faithful also attended.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz presided at the Mass and in his homily he called the evening “a night filled with promises.”
On Easter Sunday, the archbishop said, those who are baptized have the opportunity to renew their baptismal promises.
“When you make those promises on Easter day, that’s your occasion to renew your commitment to be a faithful witness to Christ,” he said.
He noted the members of the presbyterate present at the liturgy and their own renewal of the promises they made on the day of their ordination.
“It’s a sacred moment not only for yourself but for the whole church,” he said.
The archbishop noted that priests are “called not to be served, but to serve others” and said the Chrism Mass was an opportunity to renew the gift of their priestly promises.
He ask those gathered to pray for the “priests who have served you so well” so that they “might be humble and faithful servants in the very pattern of the Lord Jesus.”
Archbishop Kurtz also recalled each priest who served in the Archdiocese of Louisville who died since the last Chrism Mass.
He said they are: Passionist Father Francis Cusack, Conventual Franciscan Father Benjamin Knopf, Fathers Albert Hartlage, John Butler, Anthony Olges, Lawrence Lindle and Thomas Hommrich.