Tuesday 4 April 2023, 11am


Annual Occasion

The Acting Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Stephen Conway, presides at the annual Chrism Service held in the Cathedral on the Tuesday of Holy Week. This important occasion in the Church calendar focuses on two things: Blessing the Holy Oils, and the Renewal of the Commitment to Ministry. Numerous clergy, lay ministers and church members from parishes across Greater Lincolnshire are invited by their Bishop to attend, as indeed are the wider public.


Bishop Stephen sums up the Chrism Service, “the whole ministry of God’s People is recognised and renewed, the life of the diocesan family is celebrated, and our pastoral commitment to transform lives is energised”.


Holy Oils

The Bishop blesses the Holy Oils to be used in Christian ministry across the Diocese in the coming year, and the oils are taken to parishes after the service. The oil used is pure olive oil, and it is customary for the Oil of Chrism to be perfumed with rose, jasmine or cinnamon, giving it a sweet smell. There are three oils: the Oil for Anointing the Sick and Dying; the Oil for the Signing of the Cross at Baptism; and the Oil of Chrism, used for Confirmation candidates, the Ordination of Priests, the Consecration of Bishops and altars, and the Dedication of Churches.


In this Coronation year, the Chrism Oil will have a special place in the Crowning of King Charles III. Chrism is applied to his forehead and hands, signifying Charles’s sacred responsibilities as Monarch, Defender of the Faith and Head of the Church of England. The Oil, sourced from the Mount of Olives, has been consecrated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, recognising His Majesty’s family links with Greece and the Holy Land.


Renewal of the Commitment to Ministry

The second focus is on ministers and ministry. During the service Bishops renew their Consecration Vows, Clergy renew their Ordination Vows, Lay Ministers reaffirm their commitment to ministry, and the laity declare their commitment to daily discipleship. Taken together, the Church appreciates creative collaboration and the sharing of different personalities, skills and gifts.