This week the Church enters into the greatest drama of all time; the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I find it to be one of the most moving and prayerful times of the year. Each time Holy Week rolls around I feel that I gain something new from the experience. It is never the same rote thing, but instead it is a fresh and intimate experience of the central events of our Christian faith. This week and over the course of the Triduum the Church celebrates the act of Christ's offering as the true sacrifice to gain our redemption. The great liturgies of the week are inspirational, thought provoking, emotional, prayerful, and filled with grace. I am blessed this year to have the opportunity to participate in the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, followed by the Good Friday service at St. Stanislaus Church, which is part of the Holy Cross-St. Stanislaus Parish, and concluding the Triduum by celebrating and serving at the Easter Vigil back at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The Bishop then breathes on the oil, imitating Christ breathing the Holy Spirit on the Apostles in the post-Resurrection appearances in John's Gospel. The oils are then distributed to the parishes for use during the liturgical year. In this way the local Church renews her connection to the apostolic office of the Bishop. It is from the Bishop that the local Church emanates, and the Chrism Mass symbolizes the connection between the Bishop and his flock.
Mr. Timothy Weed, C.S.C., is in his first year of temporary vows and Master of Divinity studies as a seminarian at Moreau Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame. Tim is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.