Chrism Masses

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I used to be the bishop of a diocese that covered so much territory that I celebrated two chrism Masses in different locations so that the priests could more easily participate.

Was that OK?


A: The missal is silent on this. The long tradition of the chrism Mass is that it takes place once on Holy Thursday morning and at the cathedral. However, now, another day may be chosen, and some bishops choose a location other than the cathedral to accommodate the number of people in attendance or the centrality of the location.

Notice rubric 3 of the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper that,“Where a pastoral reason requires it, the local Ordinary may permit another Mass to be celebrated in churches and oratories in the evening and, in case of genuine necessity, even in the morning, but only for the faithful who are in no way able to participate in the evening Mass.”

So, although there’s no explicit permission, I get the sense that a bishop has the authority to adjust the schedule of these sacred days when pastoral reason and genuine necessity call for it.