Liturgy by TLW



Bishop's Lenten Visitation
(Chrism Mass)


Lent 2002
Florida-Bahamas Synod ELCA


In the early Church, Maundy Thursday became the focus of many final, day-time preparations before the sundown beginning of the Triduum that led over three days to Easter. Maundy Thursday became the day when penitents completed their public penance and received absolution (a remnant of which is found in the confession and individual absolution that follows the opening sermon on Thursday evening). Maundy Thursday became the day to bless the oils (chrism) that would be used for the baptisms at the Easter Vigil. And since all the clergy assembled with their bishop to receive the blessed oil for their parishes, Maundy Thursday became the time when the clergy would renew their ordination vows. All of these rites were preparatory rites for Easter, just as all of Lent became a preparatory time for those awaiting baptism, and later for all the baptized.

Although the demands of Holy Week often press on the schedules of rostered leaders in the Church today, many have found it worthwhile to take time during Lent for this spiritual and practical preparation that is found in the ancient Chrism Mass, even if that cannot occur directly on Maundy Thursday.

Below is the service that I helped to put together for the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Bishop Edward R. Benoway, following the tradition of his predecessors Bp. Laverne Franzen and Bp. William Trexler, scheduled a series of four Lenten Visitations across the synod to meet with clergy and rostered leaders for a morning or afternoon that would include a meal, time together for conversation with the bishop, and the Chrism Mass with its renewal of vows and blessing of oil. For that occasion, about half an ounce of scented olive oil was placed in small glass vials that were labeled with the date, occasion and purpose and distributed after the service.

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Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness:

The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.


B. In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C. Amen


B. God of mercy and consolation, come to the aid of your people, turning us from our sin to live for you alone. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit that, attentive to your Word, we may confess our sins, receive your forgiveness, and grow into the fullness of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Amen


B. Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Kneel/Stand. Silence for reflection and self-examination.


B. Gracious God,

C. have mercy on us. In your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone. Uphold us by your Spirit so that we may live and serve you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


B. Almighty God have mercy on you, + forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.

C. Amen



Hymn   "There Is a Balm in Gilead"


Greeting & Prayer of the Day:

B. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

C. And also with you.


B. Let us pray. Lord Jesus, as you called the apostles to follow you, so you have called us. Grant that our zeal and love may not grow cold in your service, nor that we might fail or deny you in the hour of trial. As we prepare for the Easter celebration, renew our hearts, deepen our faith, and fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit, that in all that we do, we might reflect the Father's love through you.

C. Amen


The Holy Gospel

A. A reading from St. Luke.

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." 32 He said to them, "Go and tell that fox for me, 'Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33 Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' 34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.' "

The word of the Lord

C. Thanks be to God!



Homily by Bp. Benoway

Stand and sing three times:


Hymn  "The Lord Is My Song"


Renewal of Ordination & Commissioning Vows:

B. Hear the words that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to his first servants, the blessed Apostles: " 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.' " John 20:21-23 NIV

By God's call and the laying on of hands, you have been set apart to be dispensers of God's grace in the ministry of Word and Sacrament and the ministry of Word and Service.

I exhort you always to be mindful of how great a treasure has been entrusted to you. The flock over which the Holy Spirit has made us shepherds and leaders is made up of Christ's sheep, purchased with his blood. May we never tire in seeking to bring those committed to our care to increased faith and knowledge of God and to fullness of life in Christ. As we shall give account before the Lord in the great day of his appearing, I, your bishop, call on you to renew your commitment to your sacred office.

Do you recommit yourself to the holy ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ to which you have been called?

C. I do, with God's help.


B. Will you continue to preach and teach the Word of God in accordance with the Confessions of our Church, and to administer the Holy Sacraments after the ordinance of Christ, and to serve all people?

C. I will, with God's help.


B. Will you adorn the teaching of our God and Savior by a holy life and conversation?

C. I will, with God's help.


B. Will you bear faithful witness before the world, that God's love may be seen in all you do?

C. I will, with God's help.


B. Almighty God, who has given you the will to do these things, + bless you with the faith, strength and determination to accomplish them.

C. Amen


B. Let us pray. Eternal God, renew the gifts of the Holy Spirit in these servants of your Church. Make them faithful pastors, patient teachers, loving servants, and wise counselors to your people. In all things, may they serve without reproach, that your people may be edified and your name glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

C. Amen


B. As I have prayed and will continue to pray for you, I ask you also to pray for me, that despite my unworthiness, I may fulfill the apostolic office that God and the Church have entrusted to me. Pray that I may increasingly reflect the image of Christ, who was the teacher and servant of all, and be a genuine sign of the Lord's presence among you.

C. May God bless you and support you in your sacred office.

B. Amen


Hymn    "The Lord Is My Song"  (sing once)


The Blessing of Oil:

The oil is presented to the bishop.

B. Dear Friends in Christ: In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the creation; and, throughout history, God, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, has empowered his people to serve him. As a sign of that gift, the priests and kings of Israel were anointed with oil; and our Lord Jesus was himself anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism as the Christ, God's own Messiah. At baptism, Christians are likewise anointed by that same Spirit to empower them for God's service. Let us now set apart this oil to be the sign of that anointing.

Eternal Father, whose blessed Son was anointed by the Holy Spirit to be the Savior and servant of all, we pray you to + consecrate this oil, that those who are sealed with it may share in the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.

C. Amen


The Peace:

B. The peace of the Lord be with you always.

C. And also with you.

A sign of peace is shared by all.



Hymn  "Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ"

During the hymn, the table is prepared.


The Great Thanksgiving:     Stand

B. The Lord be with you.

C. And also with you.


B. Lift up your hearts.

C. We lift them to the Lord.


B. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C. It is right to give our thanks and praise.


B. We give you thanks, great Shepherd of the sheep, for all your loving acts: for creating us out of the dust of the ground; for planting us in this garden earth; for giving us spirits of love toward you and calling us to service; for giving us seasons of faith renewal and calling us again and again to repentance and righteousness for the sake of your name. Above all, we give you thanks for Jesus Christ, your only Son, whom you sent to redeem us and all the world, and in whose name we minister with the saving Word of the gospel.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    Again, after Supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    For as often as we eat this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

C. Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.


B. Remembering his ministry among us, O Father, and the example he gave as a Good Shepherd seeking out the lost and forlorn, we ask you: send now your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us, that we may be strengthened in our faith and in our ministries and glorify you through your Son Jesus Christ.

Through him, with him and in him, all honor and glory be yours, almighty Father, now and forever.

C. Amen


B. Let us pray in confidence in the words our Savior gave us:

C. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen


At the Breaking of Bread:

B. When we eat this bread, we share the body of Christ. When we drink this cup, we share the blood of Christ.

C. Reveal yourself to us, O Lord, in the breaking of bread, as once you revealed yourself to your disciples.


Communion      Sit


After Communion:      Stand

A. Let us pray. Lord God, in a wonderful Sacrament you have left us a memorial of your suffering and death. May this Sacrament of your body and blood so work in us that the way we live will proclaim the redemption you have brought; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C. Amen

Silence for reflection


The Blessings of Lent:

B. As you prepare for the Easter celebration, may your spirit be renewed with each day in faith, love and service.

C. Amen


B. May you and the people you serve be ever strengthened and comforted in the grace of forgiveness that comes from the cross of Christ.

C. Amen


B. May you be brought to the feast of the resurrection with joy in abundance and hearts filled with the hope of the eternal kingdom.

C. Amen


B. And may almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.

C. Amen



B. Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

C. Thanks be to God.


Hymn  "We All Are One in Mission"


Worship Leaders

Presiding Minister: The Rev. Bishop Edward R. Benoway

Assisting Minister:

     March 4: The Rev. Rita Gardner Tweed, Assistant to the Bishop, SW Mission District

     March 17-18: The Rev. Gene Kern, Assistant to the Bishop, N Mission District

     March 21: The Rev. Bill Miller, Assistant to the Bishop, SE Mission District



The Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness and the Holy Communion are from With One Voice, Copyright 1995 Augsburg Fortress. The Prayer of the Day, Eucharistic Prayer and Blessings of Lent are by the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel, FB Synod. The Renewal of Ordination and Commissioning Vows is a composite. The Blessing of Oil is from The Book of Occasional Services, Copyright 1979 The Church Pension Fund (Episcopal). The Prayer After Communion is the second Proper Prayer for Maundy Thursday, Lutheran Book of Worship, Copyright 1978 Augsburg Fortress.