Archbishop George J. Lucas adds fragrant balsam to olive oil as he prepares and consecrates the sacred chrism during the Chrism Mass April 11 at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. It is during this Mass, held each year in Omaha on the Monday of Holy Week, that the archbishop consecrates the sacred chrism, which is used in baptisms, confirmations, ordination of priests and bishops, and anointing of altars and churches. He also blesses the oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick.
The three sacred oils were distributed at the end of the Mass to parish representatives from across the archdiocese for sacramental use during the upcoming year. In many parishes, the oils are ceremoniously presented during Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Priests from throughout the archdiocese also gather at the Chrism Mass to renew their ordination promises.
PHOTOS BY JIMMY CARROLL/STAFF
Chrism Mass includes blessing of the holy oils