The Solemnity of Pentecost, which concludes the Easter season and celebrates the beginning of the Church, will be commemorated May 31 in the Diocese of Trenton with a noon Mass celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

The Mass will be livestreamed without a congregation and can be viewed on TrentonMonitor.com and YouTube.com/trentondiocese, where it will also be available to view following the event. Bishop O’Connell will serve as homilist.

Bishop O’Connell will use the Mass on Pentecost as an occasion to consecrate and bless the Holy Oils to be used in parishes throughout the year during the conferral of Sacraments. The Holy Oils, which are the Oil of the Sick, Oil of the Catechumen and Sacred Chrism, are usually consecrated and blessed during the Chrism Mass, which in the Trenton Diocese is traditionally celebrated on the Monday of Holy Week. This year’s Chrism Mass, however, was not celebrated because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Oil of the Sick is used to anoint the sick, bringing strength, comfort and forgiveness to those in need. The Oil of the Catechumens is used to strengthen those preparing for Baptism to avoid sin and grow in their faith. The Sacred Chrism is used for the conferral of Baptism, Confirmation, ordination of priests and bishops, and the consecration of altars and churches.

The Solemnity of Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, and 10 days after his Ascension into heaven, is the celebration of the person of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the first followers of Jesus, who were gathered together in the Upper Room.

The full account of the Pentecost story is recounted in the Bible, Chapter 2 of the Book of Acts.