Moscow, April 30, 2021
Yesterday, Holy Thursday, the day of the commemoration of the Lord’s Mystical Supper with His disciples, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow celebrated the rite of the consecration of new Chrism for the Russian Orthodox Church at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The rite was served after the Anaphora in the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, in which His Holiness was concelebrated by a number of other hierarchs of the Russian Church, reports Patriarchia.ru.
The making of new Chrism began at Donskoy Monastery on Holy Monday, with the oil and spices being continually stirred until Holy Thursday as the Gospel of John was ceaselessly read.
During the Great Entrance yesterday, Pat. Kirill received the alabastrum with the old Chrism at the Royal Doors and placed it on the altar. The vessels with the new Chrism were placed on the right and left of the altar.
Before consecrating the Chrism after the Anaphora, the Patriarch a reflection on the holy oil:
On Holy Thursday, a Sacrament of the Church is celebrated—the consecration of holy Chrism. It pleased the Lord, after His Ascension to Heaven, to bestow the Holy Spirit upon His disciples, and through them upon all their followers. We know that this great Mystery and this great miracle took place on the 50th day after the Resurrection of Christ, when the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room of Zion received this gift and a visible sign of the descent of the Holy Spirit was given—tongues of fire rested on each of the Apostles.
Having received this great gift of Divine grace, the Apostles called it down upon their closest disciples—those who came to be called bishops, and through the bishops of the Church, this gift is called down upon every priest and deacon in ordination. Moreover, having the gift and the right to call down the Holy Spirit, the Church was able to bless a certain physical substance, which we call Chrism, upon which, by a special prayer of the Church on Holy Thursday, the grace of the Holy Spirit is brought down—the grace that rested on the holy Apostles.
Holy Chrism is used for the anointing of the baptized. In conjunction with the sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of Chrismation is performed, and the body of the baptized person is anointed with the holy Chrism—the very Chrism that contains the grace of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon the holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost. And after these words, we will all pray together that the Lord will send down the Holy Spirit upon our Church, strengthen all those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit and in the power of faith, that He will bless our Fatherland, protect it from all enemies, and strengthen the Orthodox faith in our people. And now let us begin the great Sacrament of the consecration of the holy Chrism.
At the singing of the troparion of Pentecost, the Patriarch poured the old Chrism into each vessel with the newly-consecrated Chrism. Then, according to tradition, he filled the alabastrum with the new Chrism.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the Chrism was taking to the Church of the Synodal residence in Danilov Monastery, from where it will be sent to all dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate.