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RE: [SORForum] Information on Holy Muron

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  • Sarkessian, Gary A
    This is from Children s Encyclopedia of Armenian Christianity (Christian Armenia 301-2001). Yerevan, AREG , 2001.** The book uses the word Chrism to Refer
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 7, 2001
      This is from Children's Encyclopedia of Armenian Christianity (Christian Armenia 301-2001). Yerevan, "AREG", 2001.**
      The book uses the word "Chrism" to Refer to the "Holy Muron/Myron".  If anyone needs more information on the exact recipe list of ingredients for the Holy Muron/Myron, please let me know.  It's a list of 40 or so more herbs, flowers, incense, etc.  I know I can find the list at home somewhere.
      Good Luck,
      Garabed Sarkessian
      Armenian Orthodox Church
      Also see http://www.armenianheritage.com/religion.htm  click on "Blessing of Holy Muron"
      Chrism refers to a special scented liquid or perfume.
      Similar to the oil of Anointment of the old Covenant, in the Christian Church the holy chrism is the means by which the grace of the Holy Spirit is transferred.  The sacraments, or the mysteries of Confirmation and Ordination of the priests, are performed with the holy chrism. It is also used in anointing the Church and the holy altar, as well as objects of worship such as the cross, the Gospel, etc.  The chrism of the Armenian Church differs from the chrism of other Churches in its unique composition.
      The basic substance of the anoint oil of the old covenant was olive oil, to which fine spices, such as myrrh (as a basic ingredient), cinnamon, and incense were added.  In the Armenian Church, the basic ingredient of the holy chrism is also olive oil, to which are added not four, but almost forty fine herbs.  Some of these are primary herbs whose use is obligatory, and some are secondary herbs, considerable small in number, which may be substituted with other herbs if necessary.  In historic Armenia the secondary herbs were readily available, which in modern Armenian some of them do not grow.  The basic ingredients of the chrism grow in the countries of the Mediterranean Sea and southeastern Asia. 
      The holy chrism is traditionally prepared by mixing the juice of balsam and flowers into the olive oil.
      The balsam juice is prepared by adding balsam (a scented liquid gum) which has already been dissolved in linseed oil to boiling olive oil.
      The flora juice is prepared by mixing olive oil with wine and the remainder of the herbs.  The entire mixture is then boiled in a caldron on a low fire for two days. The result is filtered and then stored in a special vessel.
      The holy chrism receives its heavenly power and sanctity through blessing.  The right to bless the chrism is limited to the Catholicos alone.  There is no special cannon to determine how often the chrism is blessed, but it is usually blessed every five to seven years. 
      The blessing of the chrism is traditionally performed during major feasts and during the Divine Liturgy, although in earlier ages it was blessed on Great Thursday.
      The day of the blessing is chosen by the Catholicos through a special encyclical.
      According to the tradition of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, forty days prior to the blessing of the chrism, the silver-plated caldron, filled with olive oil and covered with a veil, is placed in the main sanctuary of the Mother Church.  For forty days, after the vespers, a special service is performed by reading hymns and prayers.  The last evening is concluded by a vigil.
      The following day is the celebration of the blessing of the chrism.  Accompanied by the sound of bells and the hymn "Khorhoort horin," the ecclesiastical procession moves from the Catholicos' apartment to the Cathedral.
      Acolytes and deacons, carrying banners, candles, and fans, accompany the Catholicos and the twelve bishops. The bishops divide into two lines of six.  They each carry sacred relics: the Holy Gospel; the right hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator, the relic of life (cross); and other relics; and the ingredients of the chrism, balsam juice, floral juice, and the old chrism, each in an appropriate vessel.
      The Catholicos sits on his throne, while the bishops stand at his left and right.  The blessing begins.  After special prayers, lections, and songs, the head sexton uncovers the caldron. With the sound of hymns, the Catholicos pours into the caldron first the floral juice, and then the balsam juice, and then the old chrism.  The old chrism is always added to the new one to symbolize the perpetuity of the Church.
      Afterwards, the Catholicos makes the sign of the cross with the relic of the cross, the holy spear, and the right hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator.  The then stirs the chrism while repeating the prayer of blessing.
      Finally, the head  sexton covers the caldron with a lid and a veil.  The caldron remains in the main sanctuary for seven years.  The faithful are allowed to approach the vessel and kiss it.

      ** Please note, I am not sure why this is called "Children's" encyclopedia. It's really for adults to read and then they can explain things to children. Maybe it is called "Children's" because it has many beautiful photographs, drawing, artwork and iconography (illuminated manuscripts, khatchars, engraving and others). I paid $26 (US) for this. It is 164 pages and is in hardback. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift. It's available from the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America's St. Vartan Book Store, NY, NY. Call them to order or for a catalog at (212) 686-0710

      The encyclopedia was originally published in Armenian under the title "Christian Encyclopedia for Children" in 1998 by AREG publishing house of Yerevan, Armenia.

      Children's Encyclopedia of Armenian Christianity (Christian Armenia 301-2001). Yerevan, "AREG", 2001. By order of His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate. Made possible by the Caspar M. Kasparian Fund. Translated and Edited by Vatche Ghazarian, Ph.D. Originally published in 1998 by "AREG" Publisher, 1998 (in Eastern Armenian). Published in English by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (DACA).

      ISBN 99930-56-11-1.

      This English Language version of the encyclopedia, while relying basically on the revised new edition of the above mentioned Armenian original, has also relied on two additional sources: "A Dictionary of the the Armenian Church" by Malachia Ormanian (translated by Bedros Norehad) publish in 1984 by the DACA, and "Saints and Feasts of the Armenia Church" by Patriarch Torkom Koushagian (translated and edited by the Very Revered Father Haigazoun Melkonian) published in 1988 by the DACA.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Thomas Daniel [mailto:daniel_reji@...]
      Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 6:21 AM
      To: SOR-Forum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SORForum] Information on Holy Muron

      Can anyone help with this request?
      Thomas Daniel

      From: amethystcatII@...
      Reply-To: brendan99us@yahoogroups.com
      To: brendan99us@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [brendan99us] Information on Holy Muron
      Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 04:56:41 -0000

      I'm looking for information regarding the Concocting and Blessing of Holy Muron. The Syrian or Armenian Rites are those I seek most. The recipe, prayers, rites, vestments, etc. In English, preferrably
      Thank you
      Amethyst Cat

      "Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger."
      (James 1:19)
      Syriac Orthodox Resources: http://sor.cua.edu

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