The Chrism Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 16, at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Burlington.

The annual Chrism Mass brings the diocesan community together as the bishop blesses the priests of the Diocese and blesses the holy oils that will be used in the sacramental life of the Church in the coming year. During the liturgy, the priests stand before the bishop and renew the promises they made at their own ordinations. They resolve to be “faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist” and “discharge the sacred office of teaching […] not seeking any gain, but moved only by zeal for souls.” The bishop exhorts everyone to pray for the priests and to pray for him so that he “may be made day by day a living and more perfect image of Christ, the Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Teacher, and the Servant of all.”

During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Sacred Oils are blessed. Containers holding the three oils – Oil of the Sick, Oil of the Catechumens, and the Sacred Chrism – as well as the perfume that is mixed into the Sacred Chrism to give it its rich aroma – are presented by deacons serving in the diocese. The Oil of the Sick is blessed for the healing of body, mind, and spirit. The Oil of Catechumens is blessed for the anointing of those preparing for Baptism. Through this anointing, they are strengthened by Christ to resist the power of evil in all its forms. The Holy Chrism is consecrated by the bishop and priests of the diocese to anoint infants after baptism, those who are to be confirmed, and bishops and priests at their ordination. It is also used to anoint altars and churches at the time of their dedication. After the Mass, the oils are distributed and brought back to all the churches in the diocese.

All are invited to this special liturgy to pray especially for our priests and for all who will be anointed by these oils in the coming year. As the bishop will pray at the Chrism Mass: “may the Lord keep us all in his charity and lead all of us, shepherds and flock, to eternal life.”

  • Josh Perry, director of worship and liturgy, Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington

Also at the Chrism Mass

A new saint for Vermont? Bishop Coyne plans to officially announce the canonization cause for the first bishop of the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Louis deGoesbriand. The canonization cause is the process required by the Roman Catholic Church to officially recognize an individual as a saint.

A new plan for the Diocese

Bishop Coyne will officially promulgate the first synod document to come out of the Vermont Catholic Church in more than 50 years. The document is the product of a Diocesan Synod, which was announced in spring of 2017 and concluded in January after four sessions. It was the first Diocesan Synod in Vermont since 1962. Copies of the document will be available at the Mass.

Read more about the cause for canonization of Bishop Louis deGoesbriand and about the outcomes of the Diocesan Synod at

—Originally published in the April 13-19, 2019, The Inland See