Mass of the Holy Chrism was held at St. Andrew Cathedral, considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was established in 1580 by Spanish Augustinian friars. The church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parañaque, the local church that comprises Parañaque City, Muntinlupa City, and Las Piñas City.
Most Rev. Jesse Mercado, D.D., Bishop of Paranaque, presided the Eucharistic Celebration. Also present was Most Rev. Teodoro Bacani, Jr., D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches.
Gospel LK 4:16-21
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
|Bishop Jesse Mercado during the homily|
|Renewal of the priestly commitment|
|The blessing of the oil|
The blessing of oil is very ancient – there is documented evidence of this liturgy from the fourth century, but it is certainly of earlier origin. Today the People of God, bishops, priests, deacons and the lay faithful, assemble on Maundy Thursday at St. Andrew Cathedral, for the Chrism Mass with the main celebrant Bishop Jesse Mercado. There is a long standing tradition that it takes place on the morning of Maundy Thursday in the Cathedral, where the bishop is surrounded by the priests of his diocese, whose presence demonstrates their unity with him. As Maundy Thursday is the day on which both the Mass and the priesthood were instituted, Pope Paul VI introduced the renewal of the priestly commitment into the liturgy. This is followed by the blessing of oils and the consecration of Chrism.
The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens are plain olive oil – the Oil of Chrism is perfumed with balsam.