CARIBOU — A day after he celebrates the Chrism Mass in Portland, Bishop Robert Deeley will be in Caribou during Holy Week to preside at the Mass of the Holy Oils at Holy Rosary Church on 34 Vaughn Street. The Mass, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will also be available via livestream at www.facebook.com/portlanddiocese.org.
Bishop Deeley will be joined by clergy from around Aroostook County for the Mass during which the oils that will be used in the sacraments during the upcoming year will be ceremonially presented to the bishop and distributed to the priests serving in northern Maine.
“Those oils will be used for anointing, particularly in those sacramental signs that mark us as a people who have received the gift of God’s Spirit in our lives: baptism, confirmation, holy orders, and anointing of the sick,” said Bishop Deeley. “The joy of our sacramental anointing arises out of the abundance of God’s love for us. It is, first of all, something which penetrates deep into our hearts, reminding us of the love that Jesus showed for us.”
The oils include the oil of the sick, the oil of the catechumens, and the sacred chrism. The bishop will consecrate the sacred chrism and bless all the oils the night before during the Chrism Mass. While most Maine parishes receive the oils at that Mass, mindful of the size of the Diocese of Portland which encompasses the entire state, it is customary for the bishop to carry the oils north the next day to celebrate with the faithful there.
As is the case at the Chrism Mass, the Mass of the Holy Oils is also an opportunity to celebrate and thank the priests of the diocese and for them to renew their commitment to priestly service. They will resolve, as they did on the day of their ordinations, to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist and the other liturgical rites and to discharge faithfully the sacred office of teaching, following Christ the Head and Shepherd.
A special Holy Week section is available on the Diocese of Portland website that includes Mass times and locations at all Maine parishes, listings of parish events, daily prayers and reflections, and many other resources. The section can be found at www.portlanddiocese.org/holy-week-2021. In addition, stories from many Masses and services, messages, and other resources throughout Holy Week will be posted on the diocesan website (www.portlanddiocese.org), the diocesan Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PortlandDiocese), the diocesan Twitter page (www.twitter.com/PortlandDiocese), myParish App and on Bishop Deeley’s personal social media pages on Twitter (www.twitter.com/BishopDeeley) and Instagram (bishopdeeley).