Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Patriarch of Armenia Blesses Holy Muron

There is a fascinating account of blessing of the Holy Muron here. Muron is the equivalent of western Chrism, in the west it is blessed by a bishop, with his priests, annually at the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass (which may may not actually be on Holy Thursday), it normally takes about five minutes.In east it is replace as necessary, it is only blessed by the Patriarch together with bishops, its blessing and consecration takes days. It last happened in the Armenian Church in 2002.

.....At the conclusion of the Andastan service, the procession of clergy and faithful moved from the courtyard of the Mother Cathedral to the garden of the Old Pontifical Residence, where the service of blessing the ingredients that will comprise the Holy Muron was offered. As Holy Scripture was read, prayers intoned and hymns sung, the Armenian Pontiff blessed the oils, balsam, floral extracts, aromatic roots and plants, and asked for the graces of the Holy Spirit to descend from heaven, infuse the elements of nature that would soon be added to the cauldron, and to dwell within the hearts of Armenian faithful in the homeland and throughout the Diaspora. In his message to the faithful, His Holiness also stated, “We encourage our sons and daughters throughout the world to pray with us unceasingly during this time, so that your voices will be mixed with the sweet aromas and floral essences, and thereby sanctify the Muron. We ask God to send the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit with His miraculous power to purify the souls of all Armenians who will be baptized, sealed and ordained with this Chrism, and that the sanctity of the Muron becomes the adornment of every individual.”
After the ingredients were blessed, His Holiness added the elements into the cauldron one at a time, and sealed the lid. The cooking process will take three full days, during which time, the cauldron is constantly attended to by the monks and deacons of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin. As the fire below the cauldron cooks the elements, the clergy stand 24-hr vigil and offer their continuous prayers and recitation of psalms, since the mixture is never left unattended.......


bobd said...

At first glance at the title of your article I misread it. I thought perhaps I just missed the election of our new president.

alban said...

It is my understanding that the Armenians also follow the Eastern practice of adding the "old oil" to that which is being "cooked; thus there is tangible continuity stretching back over a thousand years.

Mind you, if the process goes on for 3 days no wonder the last time it was done was 2002.

Rubricarius said...

Gosh Fr. Ray you do find some highly interesting things to post about!

This was fascinating indeed. The Armenians are IMHO the most interesting of the Oriental Churches with an curious mixture of Western accretions (like the 'last Gospel' and Western-shaped mitre for bishops). Their Church (or to be correct one of their churches) in London, St. Sakkis, Iverna Gdns, is well worth a visit being a beautiful model of an Armenian church in the middle of Kensington. I always try and attend their anticipated Christmas Liturgy.

Two things I would love to see before my demise are an Armenian Vartapet and Aremenian deacons wearing mitres as they do on St. Stephen's Day (Dec 25) and certain other days when more than seven deacons are present at the Liturgy.

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