Imphal: Ahead of Easter Sunday celebration, more than 200 Catholic priests from Manipur celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Imphal on Tuesday evening. This was one of the largest gatherings of the priests post COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Rev Dominic Lumon, Archbishop of Imphal, led priests who serve in the Archdioceses of Imphal in renewing their ordination vows and their commitment to serve God’s people during the solemn celebration of the Chrism Mass.

Bishop Lumon also blessed the sacramental oils: The oil of the sick, The oil of Catechumens and the Sacred Chrism, to be used across Catholic parishes during the celebration of the Sacraments.

Mass is traditionally offered during the Holy Week to commemorate the founding of the priesthood and the institution of the Eucharist.

According to Fr Francis Vialo, Rector, St Thomas Seminary, the Chrism celebration usually takes place in the morning hours of the Holy Thursday. However, for pastoral convenience and to ensure participation by the maximum number of priests, it is anticipated to celebrate on Tuesday of the Holy Week in many places.

“This is one rare occasion in which almost all the priests in the Archdiocese of Imphal come together with the Bishop to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The Chrism Mass also celebrates the gift of priesthood which the Bible attests took place on the Last Supper, which we commemorate on the Holy Thursday,” said Fr Vialo.

Congratulating the priests gathered at the Mass for their commitment and committed ministry at the renewal of the priestly promises, Bishop Lumon said, “Priestly commitment is the priests’ service to the Church in and with the Lord. The Church is not an institution or company and so there is no attitude of part-time fidelity or part-time commitment.”

“Sometimes we are filled with fear to commit ourselves to meet new challenges, to let go of our comfort zones, to loosen our grip on our expectations. But that journey of our priestly commitment provides that sense of accomplishment when we challenge ourselves and rise to meet the new challenges,” said Bishop Lumon.

The Bishop also urged the nuns and Church members to pray for priests for their ministry on the priesthood day.

Religious nuns, deacons, seminarians and lay faithful also participated in the solemn ceremony of the Mass.

Also read: Manipur Congress leader arrested for derogatory language against Amit Shah


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