Blessing of the Holy Muron in the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church

September 2015

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Special Course Dedicated to the Mystery of the Blessing of the Holy Muron:

The Ceremony of the blessing of the Holy Muron to be held from 26th September to 28th September 2015. 

The blessings and consecration of the Holy Muron (Chrism) is a sacred and mysterious service, which is traditionally held once every 5 to 7 years. Muron has two essential elements: olive oil and balsam, which are mixed with more than 40 varieties of incense, flowers, spices, flower essences, oils and leaves. 40 days before the Blessing and Consecration of Muron the caldron filled with pure olive oil, is placed on the altar of the Mother Cathedral and covered with a woven veil. During each of the 40 days, a special service is offered after the evening worship, in preparation for the upcoming Muron Blessing Ceremony.

In the Armenian Church, the right to Bless and Consecrate the Holy Muron is reserved for the Catholicos of All Armenians, who blesses it with three traditional Holy relics of our Church: the Relic of the True Cross, which contains a piece of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord; the Holy Lance ‘Geghard’ which pierced the side of Christ; and the reliquary of the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

The use of holy Muron (Chrism), in the Armenian Church dates back to the times of the Apostles. According to tradition, the oil blessed by Christ was brought to Armenia by the first Enligh­tener the Apostle St. Thaddeus. He anointed sick King Abgar with the oil he brought with him, and healed him. The Apostle then went to Taron, where he buried his bottle of oil under an evergreen tree. Later through the vision of St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Arme­nian pontiff found it and mixed it with the Muron which he blessed. Each time the Catholicos of All Armenians blesses new Muron, the old Muron inherited from St. Gregory the Illuminator is mixed with the new Muron, as the graces contained in the old Muron are conveyed to the new Muron.

The sacraments of Baptism, and the Ordinations of Priest, Bishop and Catholicos are carried out with Muron. In ancient times the coronation ceremony of Armenian kings also used Muron. For new churches, foundation stones with carved crosses, the exterior dome cross, the Holy Altar, the traditional painting of the Christ child and Virgin Mary, the columns of the church, and icons are also consecrated with Muron. Each year on January 6, on Christmas, the Muron is dripped from a dove shaped vessel into a basin of water symbolizing the River Jordan, in remembrance of the Holy Spirit who descended on Christ during his baptism in the River Jordan.

The blessing of the Holy Muron is a sacred act for every Armenian. It is a uniting force for Armenians spread all over the world and a powerful tie between the past and present of this small nation. Holy Muron constantly reminds the faithful that they as Christians are born from the Holy font of the Armenian Church, carrying on their forehead the symbol of the Holy Spirit: through the seal of the Holy Muron. Over centuries and today, the Armenian nation is led by this exalted thought, and has always lived under the auspices of the blessings of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. For the Armenian bearing a forehead marked by the Holy Muron, it has become a symbol of blessedness and a national symbol, which is reflected in the disposition and mindset of the nation.

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