New date and time for annual Chrism Mass


The Chrism Mass is one of Bishop Thomas Zinkula’s favorite Masses because it brings together clergy, religious and laity from throughout the diocese. This Mass is unique from other Masses in two ways: it celebrates the renewal of priestly promises and the blessing of the oils.


Anne Marie Amacher
Bishop Thomas Zinkula pours balsam into the oil of sacred chrism during the Chrism Mass March 19 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

This year’s celebration will be unique for another reason: a date and time change. Mass will be celebrated April 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Usually, the Mass is celebrated the week before Holy Week on a Monday evening.

Bishop Zinkula said it makes sense to celebrate the Chrism Mass during Holy Week. The change will also allow most of the diocese’s seminarians to serve or be involved in the Mass. “This is a huge deal to have them join us.” Moving the Mass to earlier in the afternoon also allows for a reception to be offered in the diocesan hall afterwards.

During the Chrism Mass, Bishop Zinkula will bless the oil of the sick, used in the anointing of the sick; the oil of catechumens, which is for those preparing to be baptized; and the chrism oil, which is consecrated and used for baptism, confirmation and holy orders.


Also this year, all Catholic churches in the United States will use the new revised translation of the rite of blessing for holy oils. The rite was approved by the Vatican in 2017 and is required to be used beginning this year.

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