An Explanation of the Holy Myron

Photo by N. Manginas
(Photo by N. Manginas)

Prologue [1]

Holy Myrrh is the Chrism Oil used in the Orthodox Church for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Myrrh is sanctified by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the participation of a host of Bishops and other clergy, as well as lay people. Whereas the chafing of the Holy Myrrh takes place in a building adjacent to the Patriarchal Chapel of Saint George it is stored and kept in the Sacred Repository of Holy Myrrh located in the Tower, elsewhere on the Patriarchal grounds. The Ecumenical Patriarchate distributes the Holy Myrrh to the Orthodox Churches throughout the world to be used for Confirmation, one of the Seven Sacraments. In the Orthodox Church this Sacrament of Confirmation is administered at Baptism.

Approximately every ten years the reserve of Holy Myrrh nears depletion. The Ecumenical Patriarch then informs the Holy Synod which resolves and requests for the replenishment of the Holy Myrrh during Holy Week of the forthcoming year. His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch informs the Primates of Orthodox Churches throughout the world and extends to them, and other Hierarchs, an invitation to attend and participate. A request is also made to many of them asking for a specific offering of a precious oil or element mandated for inclusion in the preparation of the Holy Myrrh.

Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne and lay people as well, are assigned to comprise the body of those responsible for all the appropriate preparations. In the year 2012, Metropolitan Athanasios of the Senior See of Chalcedon was appointed to preside. Metropolitan Cyril of Imvros and Tenedos, Metropolitan Dimitrios of Sevasteia, Metropolitan Theoliptos of Iconium and the Grand Archimandrite Athenagoras as secretary, were the ranking clergy appointed. The lay people appointed were Stefanos Bairamoglou, George Savits, Joseph Constantinides, Christos Hamhougias, Theodore Messinas, Aris Tsokonas, Constantine Agiannides, and Catherine Malita.

[1] From the translation of the office of Holy Myron by Rev. S.T. Kezios, Holy Myrrh in the Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Istanbul, 2012.




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