News & Updates

Chrism Mass blesses all the oil that will be used throughout the year

Did you ever know where the oil for Confirmation comes from? Or any of the Holy Oils for that matter?

When the candidates make their Confirmation Saturday they will be blessed with Holy Chrism oil, blessed and distributed at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday. During the mass, more than 100 priests in the diocese joined Archbishop Tobin for the Mass.

During this beautiful mass, Cardinal Tobin blessed the three oils — the oil of catechumens (oleum catechumenorum or oleum sanctorum), the oil of the infirm (oleum infirmorum) and holy chrism (sacrum chrisma) — which will be used during the sacraments throughout the diocese for the year.

Chrism is a mixture of oil and balsam, or balm. It is also used to anoint newly ordained priests and deacons and to bless altars and churches.

This Chrism Mass is rooted in the early Church as noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (named after Pope Gelasius I, d. 496), but was later absorbed into the Holy Thursday evening Mass. Pope Pius XII issued a new Ordinal for Holy Week, which re-instituted a special Mass of the chrism distinct from the evening Mass.