Kiev, November 23, 2022
From now on, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will make its own Chrism.
The relevant decision was made by the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which met this morning at the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, reports the UOC’s Information-Education Department.
At its Council in late May, the UOC strengthened its independence and removed any connection to the Russian Church from its statutes, though its exact status remains unclear. At that time the possibility of making Chrism in Kiev was discussed.
In accordance with today’s decision, the Synod created a commission to work on restoring the practice of making Chrism in Kiev, headed by His Eminence Archbishop Viktor of Artsyz, vicar of the Odessa Diocese.
The report notes:
Historically, Chrism-making in the Kiev Archdiocese began in the middle of the 15th century. Later, Holy Chrism was made in the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves Lavra. Due to the revolutionary events of 1917, this practice stopped in Ukraine. The Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which took place on May 27, 2022 in Kiev, had considered the possibility of resuming the making of Chrism.
In view of this, the Holy Synod decided to resume Chrism-making in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In current Russian tradition, making Chrism is a major sign of autocephaly, though as the UOC Synod notes, this wasn’t always the case. Chrism was made in Kiev and other cities for centuries, even before the Patriarchate was abolished by Peter I. Chrism was last made in Kiev in 1913, and when the Russian Patriarchate was restored in 1917, Chrism began to be made only in Moscow.