Beginning of the Process of Santictification of Holy Myrrh

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On Holy Monday, April 9, 2012, following the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at the Patriarchal Church of St. George, His All-Holiness blessed the beginning of the process of sanctification of the Holy Myron in a special office.

The Ecumenical Patriarch sprinkles holy water on the prepared materials, the utensils to be used, and the ancient copper boilers. Then, holding a lighted candle, he touches each boiler, placing pieces of old charred holy icons inside. At the conclusion of the service, the Patriarch reads from the Book of Holy Gospels. The reading of the New Testament is continued by those in attendance, including hierarchs, clergy from the Phanar, as well as visiting clergy. This order of readings will continue throughout the day on Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday.

Photos by N.Manginas

About the Holy Myron/Myrrh:

In the Orthodox Church, the Holy Chrism is sanctified for use in the celebration of the sacrament of Chrismation. It is a visible sign of the transmission of gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who are baptized.

“the right for consecrating it has been reserved by Synods to bishops only. In the East, the Holy Myron is consecreated only by Patriarchs and up to recently by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantiniple only. Even today, some of the national or regional Churches that have been granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate continue to receive the Holy Myron from the Mother Church as a sign of filial loyality and respect..” It is not used for anoiting priests of secular dignitaries.

– from A dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy by Fr Nicon Patrinacos

The 57 elements of Holy Myrrh are:

Pure Olive Oil
Wild nard
Red wine
Fragrant mace
Flower extract
Venetian terebinth
Rose extract
White resin
Pure mastic
Pure nut oil
Almond resin
Marjoram
Primula flowers
Ladanum
Aloe of Barbades
Indian nard
Pepper (long)
Incense of Lebanon
Nutmeg
White ginger of Ceylon
Malabathrum
Zerneb
Angelica herb
Fenugreek
Extract of styrax
Helenium
Pure myrrh
Pepper (black)
Fragrant snap ring
Sweet calamus
Florentine lily
Saffron
Aristoloche
Fruit of the balsam tree
Cyperus rotundas
Sweet bay
Celtic nard (valerian)
Black cassia
Pressed nut oil
Cardamom
Clove
Cinnamon

After the above have been boiled and mixed, then is added the following:

Balsam resin
Oil of cinnamon of Ceylon
Oil of clove
Congealed oil of nutmeg
Balsam of Mecca
Rose Oil
Mace Oil
Lemon Oil
Oil of the Balsam fruit
Oil of marjoram
Oil of Bay tree
Oil of Rosemary
Oil of Lavendar
Indian Musk
True Amber