On Wednesday Fr. Carlos & Fr. Jim, along with members of the congregation attended the Chrism Mass at the Holy Cross Church, Nicosia. The mass was celebrated by the Most Rev. William H Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop and Patriarchal Vicar for Palestine.
During Holy Week the Bishop, joined by the priests of the diocese, gather each year to celebrate the Chrism Mass and to renew their vows made at their ordination. This Mass manifests the unity of the priests with their bishop.
At the mass the bishop blesses three oils — the oil of catechumens (oleum catechumenorum or oleum sanctorum), the oil of the infirm (oleum infirmorum) and holy chrism (sacrum chrisma) — which will be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the diocese for the year. This tradition is rooted in the early Church as noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (named after Pope Gelasius I, d. 496), but was later absorbed into the Holy Thursday evening Mass; Pope Pius XII issued a new Ordinal for Holy Week, which reinstituted a special Mass of the chrism distinct from the evening Mass.