The annual Chrism Mass is one of the most important dates in the calendar. We gather, bishop, priests and deacons, supported by the presence and prayers of the whole people of God, to renew the solemn promises made at our ordination, and to bless the holy oils which will be used in baptism, in confirmation, and in the anointing of the sick throughout the year ahead.
This year I will preside at the Chrism Mass at the parish church of St Augustine’s, Kilburn, on Tuesday, 31st March (Tuesday in Holy Week) at 11.30am. The Mass will be offered in the presence of the Bishop of London, and Bishop Robert Ladds and Bishop Peter Wheatley will be present and will concelebrate. I write now with some further details about the arrangements for this year’s celebration, which I hope you will find helpful.
St Augustine’s church will be open from 10.15am, and priests will be available to hear confessions from 10.15 - 11.15am.
It would help if you were able to notify your intention to concelebrate by emailing my PA, Angela West (firstname.lastname@example.org) However, please do not feel that you are unable to attend and concelebrate if you have not notified by email: we are looking for a general sense of numbers of concelebrants and no-one will be turned away! Equally, if you are able to give some indication of the numbers of lay people who will be coming with you, that would be helpful; but all are welcome, whether or not they have been able to give prior notice. I do hope that you will all give a strong lead in encouraging your people to attend.
This year, please bring your own vestments (white stole and chasuble) if you wish to concelebrate. It is a laudable custom to wear your ordination stole (and chasuble) at the Chrism Mass, should you have such.
I am pleased to say that James Day, who conducted for us last year at Lavender Hill, will be available again together with his choir to provide what I am sure will be excellent music for the occasion.
The Vicar of St Augustine’s, Fr Colin Amos, has helpfully made some enquiries about a suitable venue for lunch after the service. (Tea, coffee and/or a glass of wine will be provided at St Augustine’s immediately after Mass). His suggestion is Little Bay Restaurant, Belsize Road (a ten minute walk from the church.) I will be there, and will be taking the opportunity to thank those who will have helped in particular ways with the organisation of the service.
The website is http://www.littlebaykilburn.co.uk Telephone number: 0207 372 4699.
Fr Amos writes: ‘Clergy and others need to book and to be responsible for their own tables. When booking ensure you do so under the title of ‘Father XYZ’ as all such bookings should be placed in one room of the three which comprise the restaurant.’
I do hope that we will have a really good attendance, both from priests and lay people. It promises to be a great occasion.
With every blessing
+ Jonathan Fulham