Today is Holy Thursday. This morning, Bishop Earl Boyea will be joined by the priests of the Diocese of Lansing at Saint Mary Cathedral to celebrate the Chrism Mass. This Mass manifests the unity of the priests with their bishop. Holy Mass begins at 10.30 am.
Here the bishop blesses three oils — the oil of catechumens (oleum catechumenorum or oleum sanctorum), the oil of the infirm (oleum infirmorum) and holy chrism (sacrum chrisma) — which will be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the diocese for the year. This tradition is rooted in the early Church as noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (named after Pope Gelasius I, d. 496), but was later absorbed into the Holy Thursday evening Mass; Pope Pius XII issued a new Ordinal for Holy Week, which reinstituted a special Mass of the chrism distinct from the evening Mass.
This evening at 7pm will see Bishop Boyea offer the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Saint Mary Cathedral in Lansing. With this Mass the Church begins the sacred Easter Triduum and devotes herself to the remembrance of the Last Supper. At the super on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus, loving those who were his own in the world even to the end, offered his Body and Blood to the Father under the appearance of bread and wine, gave them to the apostles to eat and drink, then enjoined the apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them in turn.
This Mass is, first of all, the memorial of the institution of the Eucharist, that is, of the Memorial of the Lord’s Passover, by which under sacramental signs he perpetuated among us the sacrifice of the New Law. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is also the memorial of the institution of the priesthood, by which Christ’s mission and sacrifice are perpetuated in the world. In addition, this Mass is the memorial of that love by which the Lord loved us even to death.