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Blessing Of The Holy Chrism (Myron) At The Mother See Of Holy Echmiadzin

What is the Holy Myron? The Holy Myron (fragrant oil) is the oil with the highest level of sanctification in Christian Church and in which is the grace of the Holy Spirit for the sanctifying and consecration to God of whatever it is used in anointing.

In the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Holy Myron is brewed once every 7 years during the Feast of Blessing of the Holy Chrism, specially established for this purpose. This ritual is over 1,700 years old, and the last time Holy Myron was brewed in Echmiadzin was in 2015.

On September 25, 2022, another Chrismation ceremony will begin at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin. The ceremony will be accompanied by the reading of prayers, the singing of psalms and sharakans (Armenian spiritual chants) in the presence of of numerous pilgrims from around the world.

Preparation for one of the most mysterious and sacred ceremonies in the Armenian Apostolic Church, will begin forty days before the September 25, 2022.

After the evening service, a silver cauldron is placed on the main altar of the Cathedral, filled with olive oil and covered with an intricate veil. From this day begins the preparation of a forty-day ritual, which is accompanied by daily prayers.

Before brewing the Holy Myron, the Catholicos of all Armenians separately blesses all the components of Holy Myron. To preserve the fragrance of plants, the lid of the cauldron is sealed with raw dough, and the cauldron is lowered into an even larger vessel filled with water. Accompanied by prayers and chants, the content of the cauldron is boiled over a small fire for three days and three nights. The cauldron is then placed on the main altar and covered with a veil.

The Holy Myron is one of the main shrines of the Armenian Apostolic Church. According to a legend, the Apostle Thaddeus brought the oil consecrated by Jesus Christ, to the province of the Greater Armenia – Taron, where he hid the brought oil under the evergreen myrtle. Saint Gregory the Illuminator found it and mixed the oil with his own consecrated Myron. Since that time, only the Catholicos of all Armenians has the right to consecrate Myron and mix the old one with the new one.

The main component of Holy Myron is pure olive oil, to which are added 46 types of various sweet aromatic plants, roots, floral and leaf extracts, as well as the balsamin – the sap-like substance (resin) that comes out of cuts in the bark of the special evergreen tree that grows only in Egypt. The majority of these ingredients are brought to Armenia from countries in the East.

The olive oil and the balsamin are brewed in one cauldron, the aromatic herbs mixed with olive oil, wine and rose water are brewed in another cauldron. Both cauldrons are kept separately until the Chrism is consecrated, and only then, all their contents are mixed – the old Myron that was brewed 7 years before, is poured into the new one.

A prerequisite for the preparation of the new Holy Myron is the infusion of the remaining old Myron into it – this symbolizes the continuity of tradition. It is believed, that the most oldest Myron brought to Armenia by the Apostle of Christ himself, is consequently being the part of the freshly prepared new one.

The silver cauldron, in which Holy Myron is brewed every 7 years, was presented to the Echmiadzin Cathedral in 1895 by the Novo-Nakhichevan merchant Gaspar Harutyunyan Karapetoglyan. The cauldron was made in Moscow in the studio of P. Ovchinnikov.

The silver cauldron is decorated with relief engravings, depicting “The Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist”, “The Baptism of the King Abgar by the Saint Apostle Thaddeus”, “The Baptism of the Royal Family of King Trdat by Gregory the Illuminator”, “The Descent of the Only Begotten”, “The Cathedral of St. Echmiadzin”, “The Descent of the Holy Spirit”.

On the day of the consecration of Holy Myron, accompanied by the singing of the anthem “Glorious God”, the Patriarchal procession leaves the Cathedral and goes to the specially erected altar of the St. Trdat. The Holy Fathers bring to the altar the sacred relics of the Armenian Church – the Holy Spear (Surb Geghard), with which the Roman soldier Longinus pierced the side of Christ on the cross, a particle of the Tree of the Life-Giving Cross and the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

After the Chrismation ceremony, the 180 liters of Holy Myron will be divided among all the parishes of the Republic of Armenia, and all the dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church around the world.

With the Holy Myron, the Armenian Apostolic Church performs the Sacrament of Confirmation, which follows Baptism, the anointing of priests, bishops and Catholicoses. As well as it is used for the consecration of the foundations of the new Armenian churches being built, their columns and walls, crosses on domes, altars, the images of the Mother of God with the Infant Christ.

In addition, every year on January 6, on the Feast of the Epiphany, after the Holy Liturgy during the Blessing of the Waters, the Holy Myron is poured into the font (a font is a bowl on a pedestal), symbolizing the Jordan River, and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus during baptism.

Below is a list of all the ingredients used to make Holy Myron:

  1. Բալասան Balsam Oil
  2. Ջէթ Olive Oil
  3. Մեխակ Carnation
  4. Մշկնկոյզ Nutmeg
  5. Բաղշտակ Sweet Flag
  6. Հնդիկ Նարդո Spikenard
  7. Սեւ Բերան Gooseberry
  8. Դարիսենիկ Cinnamon
  9. Խունկ Incense
  10. Արջտակ Cyclamen
  11. Քրքում Crocus
  12. Մարզանոն Sweet Marjoram
  13. Կղմուխ Inula
  14. Վաղմեռուկ Camel’s Hair
  15. Մրուանտակ Hazelwort
  16. Երիցուկ Camomile
  17. Մանիշակ Violet
  18. Նունուֆար Water Lily
  19. Նարնջածաղիկ Orange Flower
  20. Դարապղպեղ Allspice
  21. Դափնի Laurel
  22. Մուրտ Myrtle
  23. Նարկիս Narcissus
  24. Դափնեհունտ Laurel Seed
  25. Դափնեծաղի Laurel Flower
  26. Լատան Crystal Tea
  27. Կոճապղպեղ Ginger
  28. Մազտաքէ Mastic
  29. Մուշկ Musk
  30. Յակինթ Hyacinth
  31. Նարինջի Ծաղիկի Ջուր Orange Flower Water
  32. Վարդի Ջուր Rose Water
  33. Հալուէ Aloes
  34. Անդրիտակ Cardamom
  35. Ճանդան Sandal
  36. Վարդ Rose
  37. Կնդրուկ Olibanum
  38. Ստախշ Storax
  39. Կիբեռիս Galingale
  40. Հնդկապղպեղ Cubeb
  41. Հուսամ Lavender
  42. Խնկունի Rosemary
  43. Թոր Թրնչխոտ Lemon Balm
  44. Անաննուխ Spearmint
  45. Դաղձ Wild Mint
  46. Ռահան Basil
  47. Թիւմ Thyme
  48. Ծոթրին Summer Savory
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism
Blessing of the Holy Chrism