March 31, 2017

Archdiocese’s chrism Mass to be celebrated on April 11

Then-transitional Deacon Nicolás Ajpacajá gives holy oils to Adam Welp, a member of Holy Family Parish in New Albany, during the archdiocesan chrism Mass on March 22, 2016, in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Assisting Deacon Ajpacajá is then-transitional Deacon Meril Sahayam of the Palayamkottai, India, Diocese. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

Then-transitional Deacon Nicolás Ajpacajá gives holy oils to Adam Welp, a member of Holy Family Parish in New Albany, during the archdiocesan chrism Mass on March 22, 2016, in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Assisting Deacon Ajpacajá is then-transitional Deacon Meril Sahayam of the Palayamkottai, India, Diocese. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

The annual archdiocesan chrism Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on April 11, Tuesday of Holy Week, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Bishop William L. Higi, retired bishop of the Lafayette Diocese, will be the principal celebrant of the Mass. Msgr. William F. Stumpf, archdiocesan administrator, will be the homilist.

The annual Holy Week Mass features the blessing and consecrating of holy oils used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the anointing of the sick, the ordination of priests and the consecration of church buildings and altars. Priests serving the Church in central and southern Indiana also renew their ordination promises during the liturgy.

A bishop ordinarily blesses and consecrates the oils and receives the renewal of promises. Bishop Higi will serve as the principal celebrant of the Mass because the Archdiocese of Indianapolis is currently without an archbishop.

Representatives of parishes across central and southern Indiana will participate in the Mass in order to receive the oils that will be used in the celebration of sacraments in their faith communities for the coming year.

The participation of parish representatives, members of religious communities in the archdiocese, and priests and deacons serving in central and southern Indiana at the chrism Mass is a clear manifestation of the faithful of the archdiocese as a whole, said Father Patrick Beidelman, executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization.

“It’s a Mass that expresses our deep unity, not only with the sacramental priesthood of Jesus Christ, but with one another in our life of faith,” he explained.

Father Beidelman went on to note that, although the archdiocese is currently without a shepherd, what happens at the annual chrism Mass is important enough that it is celebrated nonetheless.

“There are certain things that we always do as a faith family, year in and year out,” he said. “And even in the interim of waiting for a new archbishop, the life of the faith family continues, especially the liturgical and sacramental life. And the chrism Mass is one of those high points of time that needs to be celebrated in a community.”

Although clergy, religious and parish representatives from across the archdiocese will participate in the chrism Mass, Father Beidelman said there will be seating available for many other archdiocesan Catholics. He invited them to come to the cathedral to worship during the liturgy.

“I would encourage folks to come and celebrate the chrism Mass with us if they’re able, especially if they’ve not had the opportunity before,” he said. “In the midst of some times of difficult news in the world, it’s good for us to gather in the midst of a very hope-filled and joyful celebration that reminds us of the rest of the story. And that is the assurances and the graces related to our faith and our faith family.” †

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