Imphal: Before the celebration of Easter Sunday, more than 200 Catholic priests from Manipur celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Imphal on Tuesday evening. It was one of the largest gatherings of priests after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Archbishop Dominic Lumon of Imphal led priests serving in the Archdioceses of Imphal to renew their ordination vows and commitment to serve the people of God during the solemn celebration of the Chrism Mass.
Bishop Lumon also blessed the sacramental oils: Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens and Sacred Chrism, to be used in all Catholic parishes during the celebration of the sacraments.
Mass is traditionally offered during Holy Week to commemorate the founding of the priesthood and the institution of the Eucharist.
According to Father Francis Vialo, Rector of St Thomas Seminary, the Chrism celebration usually takes place on Maundy Thursday morning. However, for reasons of pastoral convenience and to ensure the participation of the maximum number of priests, it is planned to celebrate the Tuesday of Holy Week in many places.
“It is a rare occasion when almost all the priests of the Archdiocese of Imphal come together with the Bishop to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The Chrism Mass also celebrates the gift of the priesthood which the Bible attests took place at the Last Supper, which we commemorate on Maundy Thursday,” Fr. Vialo said.
Congratulating the priests gathered at Mass for their commitment and committed ministry in the renewal of priestly promises, Bishop Lumon said, “Priestly commitment is the service of priests to the Church in and with the Lord. The Church is not an institution or a business and therefore there is no attitude of part-time faithfulness or part-time commitment.
“Sometimes we are filled with fear of committing to new challenges, of letting go of our comfort zones, of loosening our grip on our expectations. challenge and rise to new challenges,” Bishop Lumon said.
The Bishop also urged nuns and Church members to pray for priests for their ministry on Priesthood Day.
Nuns, deacons, seminarians and lay faithful also participated in the solemn Mass ceremony.
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