Hundreds gather in Norwich for annual Chrism Mass

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Hundreds gather in Norwich for annual Chrism Mass

St John’s Cathedral in Norwich was filled with almost 800 clergy and laity on April 4 for the annual Chrism Mass for the Diocese of East Anglia celebrated, for the first time, by Bishop Peter Collins. Keith Morris reports.

The annual Mass at which the sacred oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and the oil of Chrism were blessed and distributed, saw the largest attendance since before the Covid-19 pandemic with coaches arriving from parishes across the Diocese.

In his homily, Bishop Peter said: “Today we celebrate the sacramental life of holy Mother Church. Today we celebrate the sanctification of God’s holy people. Today we gather to celebrate our Catholic identity.

“There is no confusion here regarding our identity, there is no confusion here regarding our mission. The power and strength of these declarations are not built upon the foundations of human hubris. We know ourselves and understand our mission because we are an anointed people.

Bishop Peter went on to say: “Today I celebrate this Chrism Mass for the first time as your bishop. With great joy I address the entire Diocesan family: our Catechumens and the Elect; all those who are baptised and are preparing to complete their Christian initiation; all those who are striving for continuing conversion within the full sacramental life of the Church.

“Together we rejoice in the call to universal holiness and generous service,” he said.

“As the sacred oils are presented for blessing and consecration, let us pray earnestly for all who will receive a sacramental anointing over the coming year of our glorious salvation.

“Those who are to be baptised; those who are to be confirmed; those who are to be ordained; those who are sick and those who are preparing for the final journey of death.

“As the anointed people of God, we rejoice that we know our identity and understand our mission.”

Afterwards the congregation were invited to enjoy hot cross buns and tea in the Narthex and the sunny Cathedral gardens.

Pictured above is Bishop Peter Collins with the sacred oils.

You can watch a recording of Chrism Mass here.

You can see a Flickr gallery of the Chrism Mass here or below.

Chrism Mass St John's Cathedral Norwich April 23