Cosmetics of Holiness
Hundreds of priests from across Sussex gathered to renew their ordination vows and witness the blessing of the holy oils at a special service today in Chichester Cathedral led by the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner.
Known as the ‘Chrism Eucharist’ the Bishop encourages his fellow bishops and clergy to renew their ordination vows.
Joined by church members and Readers from parishes across the Diocese the oils, which are used for baptism, ministry to the sick and for the anointing of the dying, are blessed by the Bishop and distributed to parishes in the Diocese for use in local communities.
Dr Warner referred to the oils as “cosmetics of holiness” which were more concerned about an individual’s “moral beauty” than how someone looks or appears on the outside.
The Bishop told his congregation: “The use of cosmetics by women and men is now commonplace, and many of us might even be users of the famous brands. But we should also resist being taken in by the pernicious aspects of the contemporary cult of cosmetic beauty, which is derived from a synthetic and superficial definition of what it means to be beautiful.”
He added: “This cult is finance driven and has been revealed as exploitative of the workers employed in its manufacture. But most alarmingly of all, it promotes resistance to the delight with which we grow old in our bodies, learn to embrace our mortality, and approach death as the moment when we realise, notwithstanding the pain of separation, our hope to see God face to face.”
Dr Warner emphasised that the holy oils being distributed to clergy for use across Sussex were “the cosmetics of holiness, whereby in the sacred drama and duty of worship, bodies become a living sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.”