April 15, 2012

The Sanctification of the Holy Myrrh at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Sanctification of the Holy Myrrh (the Chrism Oil used in the Orthodox Church for the Sacrament of Confirmation) took place this Holy Week at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Phanar, with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presiding and the participation of approximately 55 Orthodox Hierarchs from around the world, including representatives from the Senior Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, the Patriarchate of Serbia, the Autocephalous Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania and the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

It was an auspicious celebration that takes place approximately once every ten years, when the reserve of Holy Myrrh nears depletion. This was the third time Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has presided over the sanctification celebrations. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America traveled to Constantinople and participated in the events.

Holy Myrrh is sanctified to be used in the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Chrism (Confirmation), one of the Seven Sacraments. It is a visible means of the bestowing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon those who are baptized. The Ecumenical Patriarchate distributes the Holy Myrrh to the Orthodox Churches throughout the world.


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