Prayers for Priests and Seminarians at Holy Thursday's Chrism Mass at Cathedral

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
31 Mar 2015


Specially printed prayer cards dedicated to each individual priest and seminarian in the Archdiocese of Sydney will be distributed at the Chrism Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on Holy Thursday. This will  encourage and assist people to support a priest or seminarian by praying for them each day throughout the up-coming year.

"We have been giving out these prayer cards at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday since 2009," says Father Michael de Stoop, Director of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Vocations Centre.

The Chrism Mass, which will be celebrated by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP at St Mary's Cathedral at 10.30 am will feature the annual blessing of the Holy Oils, which is one of the most ancient ceremonies of the Church. Traditionally the Chrism Mass also is the time when priests worldwide gather with their bishop to renew the promises and commitment they made at their Ordinations.

Seminarians also gather to pray for the priests as well as to pray for God's guidance as they respond to His call and look ahead to their own ordinations as priests.

Holy Oils to be used throughout the coming year will be blessed by Bishop Terry Brady at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday

This year the Vocations Centre has had 1500 prayer cards printed.

"A small team of volunteers gave up their time over the past few weeks to personalise each of these 1500 prayer cards so that when we hand them out on Thursday morning at the Chrism Mass, each will contain the handwritten name of one of our Archdiocese's priests and on the other side, the name of one of our seminarians," says Fr Michael.

This year one side of the prayer card features an image of St John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests taken from outside wall of the chapel at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush. Below will be the name of one of the priests of the Archdiocese and beneath this a short heartfelt prayer to "God the Father to fan the flame the gift of the Holy Spirit he received when he was Ordained to the Priesthood. May he be on fire with the love of the heart of Your Son, Jesus."

On the reverse of the card is an image of the Patron Saint of Seminarians, St Charles Borromeo taken from the Renaissance painting by Orazio Borgianni now owned and on display at Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

The superb aumbry which houses the Holy Oils at St Mary's Cathedral was a gift from Sydney's Chinese Catholic community

Priests from across the Archdiocese together with seminarians from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way at Chester Hill and seminarians from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush will attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral which will be concelebrated by Bishop Terry Brady along with priests and deacons. Music will be provided by the St Mary's Cathedral Choir and the Scholars of the Good Shepherd Seminary and will feature the Seminary of the Good Shepherd's Scholars Choir.

The Chrism Mass also celebrates the annual blessing of the three Holy Oils for use in the coming year.

These are the Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens and Sacred Chrism.

Whenever the Holy Oils are used in a diocese, the ministry of the Bishop who consecrated them is symbolically present.

The Oil of the Sick is used in Sacrament of the Sick to bring the strengthening and healing power of Christ, who is at work in the Church by the action of the Holy Spirit.

The Scholars Choir from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush will sing at the Cathedral's Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday

Oil of Catechumens is used at Baptism, to strengthen and purify candidates before baptising with water.

Holy Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam fragrance and is a sign of fullness of grace and spiritual strength, consecrating and enabling the faithful to live out the call to Jesus. It is used at Baptism, Confirmation and in Holy Orders when a man is being ordained to the priesthood. Holy Chrism is also used in the dedication ceremony of a church on the altar, on the walls marked by crosses and perhaps the church bell.

The times and details of the Easter Services at St Mary's Cathedral and reconciliation times are available here

Pope Francis will bless the Holy Oils at Chrism Mass at St Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday