Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese (centre) at the Chrism Mass. With him were permanent deacons Leslie Petrus (extreme left) and Anthony Chua (extreme right). The others are altar servers. Photo: FRANCIS GOPAL

JOHOR BAHRU – Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese compared the Chrism Mass to Jesus’s prayer before suffering His passion.

Jesus had prayed that his disciples may be one just as the Father and He are one, so that the world may believe, said Bishop Tan at the Mass held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Johor Bahru on March 20.

“The first duty of the bishop, priests and permanent deacons is to unite all the people of God through their ministries.” said Bishop Tan.

“At this Mass my permanent deacons and priests renew their ordination promises to be obedient to their bishop and work with him in unity as a family to look after the people of God,” said Bishop Tan.

The bishop also took the opportunity during the Mass to thank all priests, permanent deacons and lay collaborators for the work they were doing for the people of God in his diocese.

The annual Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the bishop’s priesthood and signifies the close unity of the priests with him.

A Chrism Mass during which oils used in Church liturgy – baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick and ordination – are blessed, is usually held on Maundy Thursday.

By Vincent D’silva