Monday, April 8, 2013


The Chrism Mass 2013
Last year, the clergy of the Diocese were given this message:
Bishop Latino reiterated that instead of providing a blessing, lay Eucharistic Ministers should place
their hand on the shoulder of those not receiving Communion and say a short prayer such as, “May
God bless you”.

The instruction, possibly, comes from the Church teaching that there are certain blessings the clergy can give and some the laity can give, with limits. This article states it best:
Who can give blessings? The short answer is that anyone, even lay people, can give blessings on certain occasions, but the Church restricts some blessings to bishops, others to priests and deacons, and others can be given by lay people.

The general principle regarding blessings is that “the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons)” (CCC 1669).

As for blessings reserved to bishops, the Code of Canon Law says that “Consecrations and dedications can be validly carried out by those who are invested with the episcopal character, and by priests who are permitted to do so by law or by legitimate grant” (Can. 1169, §1).

Consecrations are the solemn rites by which persons or things are permanently made over to the service of God. For example, virgins and hermits are consecrated to God in the hands of a bishop, and the sacred chrism is consecrated, or blessed, by the bishop in the Chrism Mass in Holy Week.

Dedications are the rites by which places are made over to God and become sacred places. For example, churches, chapels and altars are dedicated to God by a bishop.

But at the Chrism Mass for the Diocese this year, this happened:

"A touching sign of love and support"? Um. Yeah. I kinda missed that part. I was too busy staring off into the window depicting the Resurrection thinking about how much that thing costs.

Really, this is okay as gestures go. Awkward but ok. However, it's also superfluous and unnecessary. I put that in the category of "THINGS AT MASS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL INCLUDED THAT ACTUALLY MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL THAT THEY ARE INCLUDED".

On the blessing topic, the priests usually are invited to raise our hands and bless the Holy Chrism as the Bishop consecrates it. We weren't asked to do so this year.

I suppose that the blessings that were supposed to happen, happened and those that weren't supposed to happen, umm..happened anyway.