Mass of Chrism at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee – on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14th September 2021)

On 14 September, Bishop Stephen celebrated the postponed Chrism Mass, at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee. It was a celebration of the priesthood in unusual times.

The Chrism Mass is the occasion on which the bishop blesses the holy oils, and when the priests renew their promises of ordination to serve God and his people.

There are three oils that are blessed at the Chrism Mass: that of the sick, that of chrism, and that of catechumens. These are used wherever there is a sacramental anointing, such as the anointing of the sick, the anointing of those about to be or newly baptised, and the anointing of priests.

Usually at the Chrism Mass, the Cathedral is full with priests and parishioners from every parish across the diocese.  This year, despite a lifting on many of the restrictions that have been part off the Church’s life for the past 18 months, the attendance was controlled and booking was required.

In his homily, Bishop Stephen spoke directly to clergy of the diocese. He recognised the daily difficulties and trials faced by priests this year particularly, as for many people, the sense of isolation during the longs days of lockdown.

As the clergy renewed their ordination promises, Bishop Stephen asked the people to pray for their priests and for their Bishop. He described clergy’s reaction to the pandemic – livestreaming, regularly corresponding with parish communities and care for those isolating – as magnificent.

Recent editions of Dunkeld News

Previous Livestream Masses

The History of our Diocese

The Diocese of Dunkeld, one of the eight Roman Catholic Dioceses in Scotland. Dunkeld Diocese comprises 35 parishes of 65,000 Catholics from a total population of 580,000 (11.2%) served by 35 priests and 4 deacons.

In area the diocese is 8,495 square kilometres (3,280 sq. miles). It is thought that the diocese was constituted as far back as the middle of the ninth century.

The first occupant was styled Bishop of Fortriu, the name by which the kingdom of the northern Picts was then known. This bishop was also styled Abbot of Dunkeld, perhaps holding jurisdiction, formerly enjoyed by Iona, over the other Columban monasteries in Scotland.

The new bishopric appears to have included a great part of what afterwards became the Diocese of Argyll, and retained its jurisdiction over various churches representing old Columban foundations.

There were thirty‐five bishops of Dunkeld from its foundation until the suppression of the Catholic hierarchy during the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century.

The pre‐Reformation cathedral, situated in the Perthshire town of Dunkeld, was erected between 1220 and 1500.

After the Reformation the cathedral fell partly into ruins, although the choir is used for Presbyterian worship. The Catholic Church restored the diocese on 4 March 1878, by decree of Pope Leo XIII.

Today, Dunkeld is one of the suffragan sees in the archiepiscopal province of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and includes the counties of Perth, Angus, Clackmannan, Kinross, and the northern part of Fife.

Today the diocesan cathedral is dedicated to St Andrew and is located in Dundee rather than Dunkeld, Dundee being the residence of the majority of the Catholics of the diocese and the largest centre of population.

The cathedral chapter, erected in 1895, consists of a Provost and seven canons. Bishop Stephen Robson is the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Dunkeld.

We hope you find the site informative and that it will bring you up to date with all the events happening in our diocese. You will also find links to the wider Church community, not only in Scotland, but worldwide.