Dimapur, April 16: The Priests of the diocese of Kohima along with religious and faithful from across the Diocese filled Christ King Church to capacity on Tuesday evening for the Chrism Mass, a highlight of Holy Week, as Bishop James Thoppil blessed three urns of oil: oil of the catechumens, oil of the chrism and oil of the sick.
It may be mentioned that two important events take place during the Chrism Mass, namely the preparation, blessing of the Oil and Renewal of the Promises by the Priests. The blessing and distribution of oils, is central to the Catholic Church’s sacraments and rites.
From Jerusalem to Rome to parishes around the world, the pope and local bishops carry out the annual custom of preparing and distributing to churches the holy oils. Moreover, the chrism Mass is traditionally associated with Holy Thursday, with the blessing of the oils taking place at a morning Mass followed by an evening Mass recalling Jesus’ institution of the priesthood and Eucharist at the Last Supper.
Bishop James in his homily said, “Chrism Mass is a very unique gathering that has a special significance for us, ordained priests, and to the people of the local Church, as we priests, renew our commitment to priestly service and unity of our presbyterate with the bishop”.
“Blessing of the oil reminds us of how our fundamental unity within the diocese is built upon the sacramental life of the Church which these oils represent,” he added.
While emphasizing the importance and significance of the gathering of the priests of the diocese of Kohima as one body in unison with bishop, he said, “It is a loud and clear proclamation to people around us that though we are different in many ways – differences in language and culture, tribe and talents, size and shapes, views and opinions, yet we can be united, live and work as one body.”
He, therefore, exhorted the priests and the faithful to promote oneness and unity.
The bishop shared a personal note of appreciation for his brother priests, “I want to thank you all my brother priests, for your faithfulness in priesthood and commitment in ministry. Let no one doubt, the goodness of our priests, their sincerity and generous of the Church with great dedication.”
The Holy Mass was followed by a short felicitation programme under the initiative of the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN). Keneingu Albert Rutsa who was the MC for the programme, began with words of appreciation to the priests for their dedicated service to the people of the diocese of Kohima. The highlights of the programme included a Choral presentation from Nagaland Catholic Youth Movement and greetings song by Lide and Friends.
Simon Dzuvichu, the President of Catholic Association of Nagaland proposed the words of appreciation. He began his speech by Glorifying God for installing priesthood.
Fr. Johnson VU , the President of Diocesan Fraternity extended words of appreciation to one all, Rev. Fr. Paul Panii, the parish Priest and the faithful of the parish for all the arrangements and the presidents of CAN and his colleagues, NCWA and her colleagues and NCYM and her Colleagues for the gesture of appreciation towards the priests.
It may be mentioned that priests will return to their own respective parishes to officiate the Holy Week celebrations, namely, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil Saturday evening and Mass for Easter Day on Sunday. (Page News Service)