Gathering of priests during the Chrism Mass held at Christ King Church on April 16. (Photo Courtesy: Renthungo Victor, Secretary to Bishop)
Kohima, April 18 (MExN): The Priests of the diocese of Kohima along with religious and faithful from across the Diocese filled Christ King Church to capacity on April 16 for the Chrism Mass, a highlight of Holy Week, as Bishop James Thoppil blessed three urns of oil: oil of the catechumens, oil of the chrism and oil of the sick.
A press release stated here that two important events take place during the Chrism Mass, namely the preparation, blessing of the Oil and Renewal of the Promises by the Priests. The blessing and distribution of oils, is central to the Catholic Church’s sacraments and rites.
The oil of catechumens is used to bless those who are about to be baptized; the oil of chrism is used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. The oil of the sick is used in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
Bishop James in his homily said, “The Chrism Mass is a very unique gathering that has a special significance for us, ordained priests, and to the people of the local Church, as we priests, renew our commitment to priestly service and unity of our presbyterate with the bishop.” “Blessing of the oil reminds us of how our fundamental unity within the diocese is built upon the sacramental life of the Church which these oils represent,” he added.
While emphasizing on the significance of the gathering, he said, “It is a loud and clear proclamation to people around us that though we are different in many ways – differences in language and culture, tribe and talents, size and shapes, views and opinions, yet we can be united, live and work as one body.” He therefore exhorted the priests and the faithful to promote oneness and unity.
While addressing the Priests he said, “Our ministry is not something that derives from us or for ourselves. It comes from our anointing with the oil of the Holy Spirit. We become ministers of the Spirit in the measure in which we follow the path of Jesus whom we remember in the Holy Week as the one who emptied Himself.”
Turning to the gathering, the Bishop asked the faithful to pray for their priests and support them at all times. “Like any of us, there are moments in which the frustrations of priests – with ups and downs of their lives and the uncertainties they experience in their ministry – can lead them to dejection and discouragements. That is why priests need our prayers and support so that they can carry out their mission with renewed enthusiasm and dedication.”
The Holy Mass was followed by a short felicitation programme under the initiative of the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN). Keneingu Albert Rutsa was the MC for the programme. The highlights included a choral presentation from Nagaland Catholic Youth Movement and greetings song by Lide and friends. Simon Dzuvichu, President of Catholic Association of Nagaland and Fr Johnson VU, President of Diocesan Fraternity proposed the words of appreciation.