Chrism Mass unites far-flung Alaska Catholics


Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne hopes for a large turnout during the Chrism Mass, a profoundly sacred liturgy, with roots in antiquity and hopes in eternity. The liturgy will be celebrated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage on March 21 at 7 p.m.

Sacramental oils, used throughout the 138,000-square-mile Anchorage Archdiocese will be blessed by Archbishop Paul Etienne at the annual Mass. Joining him will be dozens of priests from across the archdiocese. The clergy will renew their commitment to the priesthood and loyalty to the archbishop — an integral part of the ancient liturgy.

Chrism, from the Greek word chrisma — meaning ointment — is one of the three holy oils consecrated during the Mass. The others are the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Infirm. Together these three sacramental oils are used in parishes throughout the year during the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy orders, as well as the consecration of churches, altars, chalices and other sacred items. They are also used to anoint the sick.

The oils will be blessed and consecrated and distributed to parishes throughout the archdiocese.

'Chrism Mass unites far-flung Alaska Catholics'
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