During the annual Chrism Mass, the bishop consecrates and blesses holy oils used in parishes for the next year. The blessed oil of the infirm will be used in the anointing of the sick. The blessed oil of catechumens will be used in baptism. The consecrated holy chrism will be used for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders as well as the consecration of altars and churches.
Before saying the prayer of consecration, the bishop breathes over the chrism. Chrism is a sign of the Holy Spirit, and this action by the bishop recalls the Spirit of God “moving over the face of the waters” at creation and Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in which “he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'”
The Chrism Mass is also a celebration of the institution of the priesthood at the Last Supper, so priests, gathered from all over the diocese, renew the vows of their ordination.
The Chrism Mass will be celebrated tonight, Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Church of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, IL and will be live-streamed on the cathedral’s YouTube page.