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HOLY MYSTERY - CHRISMATION
The Holy Mystery of Chrismation comes from the Greek word chrismatis, meaning―to anoint. The equivalent Western sacrament is called, Confirmation.
In our Byzantine rite Chrismation is performed immediately after Baptism and through it we are sealed with the gift or mark of the Holy Spirit. It emphasises, that each person is a valuable member of the Church, and that we are each blessed by the Holy Spirit with gifts and talents.
The one thing that defines us as Christians is the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Mystery of Chrismation, the priest anoints the baptised child with the blessed oil of Chrism, making the sign of the cross on various parts of the child’s body he says, “The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” and anoints the:
- brow that we may be able to contemplate the glory of God
- ears to hear the holy mysteries
- nostrils so that smelling the perfume of the Holy Chrism, we may say “we are the pleasant perfume of Jesus.”
- legs so we follow in the footsteps of Jesus
- hands so we are ever ready to give the “cup of cold water” in the name of Jesus and refrain from striking the one who offends
- eyes must close their eyelids to evil and be open to recognise the pain on the face of God’s suffering children.
The anointing also reminds us that our bodies are valuable and are involved in the process of salvation. Our whole body is anointed and blessed to serve God.
The Holy Mysteries of Chrismation and Baptism are always concluded with the giving of Holy Communion to the baptised child. Ideally, this takes place within the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This practice expresses that children from their infancy are important members of the Church. There is never a time when the young are not part of God's people.
The Chrism―holy oil― used in Chrismation consists of olive oil mixed with precious balsams and perfumes. In fact, the recipe for it is given in the book of Exodus 30:22-25. Moses used this perfumed oil to anoint his brother Aaron. It is with this oil that we are anointed as “royal people,” the fragrance of the Chrism represents the fragrance of the Holy Spirit filling all things.
The Chrism is blessed by our Bishop on Holy Thursday every year and then sent to the parishes to be used by the Priests in Chrismation.
"He has put his seal upon us and given us his spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
2 Corinthians 1:22
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