Brooklyn Boro

Bishop DiMarzio will bless holy oils, preside over renewal of priestly vows

March 17, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio anoints with oil the outstretched hands of newly ordained Rev. Mark Matthias at last year’s ordination of 10 priests. The chrism oils used in this ordination and other sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church will be blessed at a Chrism Mass on Tuesday, March 22, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. Eagle file photo by Francesca N. Tate
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The holy oils used in the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church will be blessed at the annual Chrism Mass, which is held every year, during Holy Week.

Holy Week commemorates the events that culminated in the Last Supper, Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus. Many communities around Brooklyn often re-enact those events as devotionals, such as the Palm Sunday processions, the Washing of Feet on Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday after the mandatum — or commandment — to love one another) and the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. Jesus is said to have instituted the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood at the Last Supper, which is commemorated on Holy Thursday. The Chrism Mass, celebrated in Rome and around the world, traditionally takes place on the morning of Holy Thursday, but many dioceses, including Brooklyn’s, have moved this liturgy to a different time during Holy Week.

The Chrism Mass is one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of the Catholic Church, during which the ceremonial blessings of the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and consecration of the oil of chrism take place, which will be used in all churches of the Diocese of Brooklyn throughout the liturgical year. These oils are used to anoint the sick, baptize and confirm catechumens and infants, ordain priests and to anoint altars.

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“This ancient and solemn tradition held during Holy Week brings the diocese together in one of the most holy seasons. It is a moment were we, as men of God, renew our priestly vows to serve the Lord and we, as a community, celebrate the faith that unites us all,” said Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn will hold its Chrism Mass on Tuesday night, March 22, at 8 p.m., at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

The Chrism Mass will be broadcast live on NET TV at 8 p.m. Viewers can also watch the programming live on NET TV’s website at

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