The Consecration of Chrism is a Rite reserved for the Primates of autocephalous Orthodox Churches. The last time Holy Chrism was consecrated in the Orthodox Church in America was in 2012.
Chrism, distinct from Holy Unction and other blessed oils used in Orthodox Christian rites, contains a number of ingredients, including olive oil, white table wine, benzoin, aromatic incenses extracted in oil, rose oil, basil, balsam, Venetian turpentine, galangal, oils of bergamot, clove, marjoram, thyme and sandalwood, extracts of ginger root, and nutmeg. The final selection, however, is based on the availability of fragrant oils.
“The preparation for the Consecration of Holy Chrism will begin on Holy Monday morning—April 10—prior to the celebration of the Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts,” said Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor.
“After the opening prayers and the blessing of the ingredients, the Chrism is cooked and stirred continuously through the evening of Holy Wednesday. While the Chrism is stirred, the Holy Gospels are read continuously by priests, except during the celebration of the divine services.”
After the Holy Chrism is consecrated, it is then distributed to all parishes and missions for use in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries, specifically the sacrament of Chrismation.
“At this time, we are asking for clergy to help with the preparation of the Chrism,” Father John added. “It is planned that the reading of the Gospels and stirring of the Chrism will be done in two-hour shifts.”
Clergy who are able to assist at any two-hour period or longer on Holy Monday through Holy Wednesday are asked to contact Archpriest Joseph Martin at 570-378-2920 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.