Photo: – 26/3/17

With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga began the rite for preparing holy chrism in the Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in the patriarchal residence in Moscow.

Vladyka celebrated the Rite of Blessing of Water, read a prayer of consecration over the substances to be used in making the chrism, and sprinkled them with Holy Water, reports the site of the Moscow Patriarchate. Then oil was mixed with perfumes, and they will be left to infuse one another over the next two weeks.

This service on Wednesday of the week of the Cross begins the long process of making chrism, which will be completed in Holy Week in the Small Cathedral of Donskoy Monastery. The tradition of making chrism there began in 1946, with the patriarch blessing the beginning of the rite. Until 1917 chrism was made in the chambers of the patriarchal palace in the Kremlin.

Chrism consecrated with the blessing of the patriarch will be distributed to dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church to be used in the Sacrament of Chrismation, and in the consecration of altars and churches.