Oils blessed at annual Chrism Mass

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The Holy Thursday Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington was filled with both solemnity and joy - a fitting precursor to the Easter Triduum.

In the annual liturgy, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde blessed the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and the sacred chrism. From across the diocese, 162 priests gathered to bring the newly blessed oils back to their parishes and renew their commitment to priestly service.

In his homily, the bishop noted the Year of Consecrated Life and asked the priests to recall their joy-filled ordination day and how deeply they are loved.

"Despite our weaknesses … and sin," we are in a grace-filled time in which we can "open our hearts to Christ's transforming love," he said.

Following the Mass, priests lined up in Burke Hall to receive the blessed oils from seminarians, who carefully distributed it into small containers.

It was a long day for Bishop Loverde. Bright and early Thursday morning, the bishop cooked and served up breakfast for diocesan priests. See the next issue of the Catholic Herald for the full story, and go here for photos.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015