Today the Chrism Mass was held in Chelmsford Cathedral with the Bishop of Richborough as Principal Celebrant. Just before 12 noon the clergy and altar party entered the Cathedral and the Mass started with the singing of The Angelus. There were over 40 priests in the procession of clergy from around the diocese and some neighbouring areas and a nearly full cathedral. There were also some priests in the congregation.
In his sermon Bishop Keith talked about the forthcoming visit to the UK of Pope Benedict and the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. He mentioned the difficulties with the consecration of woman to the Episcopate and the varying views amongst Anglican Catholic Clergy about the Ordinariate which the Holy Father has offered to those who are unable to accept this. He hoped that we would be able to adopt the same attitude towards each other as Cardinal Newman in his last sermon as an Anglican priest which he entitled “The Parting of Friends”.
This may be the last time that we are all together for a Chrism Mass and as such there was a certain poignancy about the service for me.