Celebration of Chrism Mass 2020

No matter how many times we’ve participated in this beautiful Chrism Mass, something tells me that this year’s celebration is far and away the most unnatural year so far—and I hope ever again.

This Mass which is only celebrated in the Cathedral Church of each Diocese, envisions the Cathedral being filled with members of the Clergy and Laity, representing in miniature all the Faithful of the Diocese.

But as we flip through each of the photos taken from last night our Cathedral is paltry, except for the grouping of our priests, Seminarians, Deacons and a few of their wives, our two bishops, and organist and cantor and a few other staff. However, I can’t help but know that as Bishop Talley looked out into our socially distanced Cathedral, he envisioned and looked into the rectories and homes of the priests, deacons and lay faithful living in all 47 parishes and missions of our Diocese, and “virtually” saw all of us, secured in our homes, restricted by this pervasive, world- wide coronavirus COVID-19.

And yet, while this year’s Chrism Mass has taken place in these once-in-a-lifetime circumstances, it remains a beautiful celebration of all that it represents.

We celebrate the fact that we are the holy People of God; we are the Body of Christ; and we are the “royal priesthood” of Jesus Christ, whose life has been given for the salvation of the world.  This is what we celebrate.

We, the lay faithful of the Diocese of Memphis, must remain strong and even through these trying times keep Jesus at the center of our lives.  We must continue to welcome Him in our prayers and celebrate Him through the Sacraments. And we must continue see Jesus in everyone we encounter in our lives –  serving  with love and compassion because we were put in this world to love God and our neighbors.

Remembering the words of Pope Francis, “Life is of no use if not used to serve others….for life is measured by love.”


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