Rite of Consecration of Holy Chrism Video

August 2, 2012

St. Tikhon’s Monastery has just put up a video of the consecration of Holy Chrism held there earlier this year.  This is a rite rarely witnessed by the faithful and it’s a treat to see this preparation done in English. The choir is also magnificent. The video description:

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated the preparatory rites for the Consecration of Holy Chrism on the morning of Great and Holy Monday, April 9, 2012, at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery. The Rite will conclude with the actual consecration of the sacred oil during the Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Great and Holy Thursday, April 12.

The blessing of the ingredients took place before the celebration of the Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

The consecration of Holy Chrism is reserved to autocephalous churches. Parishes receive Holy Chrism for local use from the Primate of their respective autocephalous Church. As such, the distribution of Holy Chrism to parish communities offers a visible sign of unity within the Church.

A more detailed explanation from Orthodoxwiki:

Chrism (Greek χρίσμα, meaning “ointment”) is consecrated oil used during the administration of certain mysteries, particularly those of baptism and anointing of the sick (unction), and other rites of the Orthodox Church. Chrism is sometime referred to as myrrh (from the Greek μύρων), holy oil, or consecrated oil.

The use of an oil in Christian ceremonies is mentioned in many early Christian documents including writings by Theophilus and Tertullian. Cyril of Jerusalem details the practices of using oil or ointment that is “symbolically applied to the forehead, and other organs of sense.” He further notes that the “ointment is the seal of the covenants” of baptism and God’s promises to the believer. He taught that being “anointed with the oil of God” was a sign of a Christian (Christos meaning “anointed”), and a physical representation of receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Orthodox Christianity, chrism is a prominent part of the baptismal rite in which, under normal circumstances, the newly enlightened (including infants) is anointed with chrism in the mystery of chrismation. Chrism is used also during the consecration of churches in which the altar table and walls are anointed.

Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and aromatic essences following the pattern of the preparation of anointing oil described in Exodus 30:22-33. Chrism is prepared when needed during Holy Week. The preparation rite begins on Holy Monday and ends with the Divine Liturgy on Holy Thursday when the new chrism is carried in during the Great Entrance and placed upon the altar table. The chrism is prepared by the ruling bishop of each autocephalous church, assisted by members of the Holy Synod. After its preparation the chrism is distributed to the bishops, who in turn pass it to the parishes where it is needed.

In the Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, Chrism is manufactured roughly every ten years. It is produced from 57 ingredients, including the ash from burnt icons.

Canon of St Andrew of Crete

February 29, 2012

A video of the Canon of St Andrew of Crete from Holy Cross Orthodox Church in High Point, North Carolina from Monday of this week:

The Great Canon is served during the first week of the Great Lent. During Great Compline on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, one portion of the Canon is sung after the Little Doxology (Greek practice) or Psalm 69 (Russian practice) is read. On Wednesday of the fifth week of the Great Lent, the Life of St. Mary of Egypt is read together with the entire Great Canon at Orthros (sometimes Thursday proper in Slavic tradition). This practice was implemented during the life of St. Andrew, who was also the author of St. Mary’s hagiography.

A basic distinguishing feature of the Great Canon is its extremely broad use of images and subjects taken both from the Old and New Testaments. As the Canon progresses, the congregation encounters many biblical examples of sin and repentance. The Bible (and therefore, the Canon) speaks of some individuals in a positive light, and about others in a negative one—the penitents are expected to emulate the positive examples of sanctity and repentance, and to learn from and avoid the negative examples of sin, fallen nature and pride. However, one of the most notable aspects of the Canon is that it attempts to portray the Biblical images in a very personal way to every penitent: the Canon is written in such form that the faithful identify themselves with many people and events found in the Bible.  Source

More recordings from St. Michael Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky:

Bishop Michael: Seven Questions and Seven Answers on Fasting

February 17, 2012

Lazarus Saturday & Palm Sunday Chants

April 18, 2011

Lazarus Saturday Stichera, from Presanctified Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday, Friday, April 15, 2011 at St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church, Denton, Texas:

Let My Prayer Arise in Thy Sight As Incense:

O Gladsome Light:

Palm Sunday Troparion from Elevation of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Sacramento, California:

Procession of Palms:

Part of Monday’s Bridegroom Service from Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Beltsville, Maryland:

Behold the Bridegroom cometh at midnight, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching; but unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep; lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the kingdom. But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God: through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

Hymn of Kassiani in English

April 17, 2011

Sung on Holy Tuesday Evening (Wednesday Matins) of Holy Week:

Words and musical arrangement here.

Lenten Services in Jerusalem

March 31, 2011

Midnight Liturgy at the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem — March 20, 2011.

From the file descriptions:

This is the Bishops entrance and Cherubic Hymn from the Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas at the Holy Sepulchre. There were 6 Bishops serving with at least 20 priests, including an ordination! Quite an experience with beautiful chanting and readings done in both Greek & Slavonic!

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

A montage of the sights and sounds of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts celebrated at Golgotha in the Holy Sepulchre, March 30, 2011.

Resources for Lent, Holy Week & Pascha

March 30, 2011

I will be posting less the next few weeks so that I can attend to some personal goals. The blog will stay open and I will still post from time to time. In the interim, here are links to several posts that have been featured here in the past that can provide resources for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.

Great Lent Resources:

The Journey of Great Lent: Bright Sadness

Hymns in Anticipation of Lent

Forgiveness Vespers

Spiritual Reading for Great Lent

First Week of Great Lent: The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

The Presanctified Liturgy

Chants from the Presanctified Liturgy

In Many Tongues: The Sunday of Orthodoxy

Lenten Meditation

Sundays of Great Lent

The Doors of Repentance Open Unto Me

Holy Week Resources:

Holy Week Resources

Lazarus Saturday: Rejoice, O Bethany

From Matins for Palm Sunday

Behold the Bridegroom Comes at Midnight

Epithets for the Passion of Christ

Great and Holy Monday

Holy Week Chants

The Mystery of  Holy Unction

Lamentations — Statis 3 — From Holy Friday

Las Lamentaciones del Viernes Santo (same as above but in Spanish)

The “Little Services” of the Church (from Holy Tuesday)

Epitaphios — Great and Holy Friday & Holy Saturday

Today Hell Cries Out Groaning — Holy Saturday Hymn

From Matins of Holy & Great Saturday

How Shall I Bury You, My God?

God Has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles in Fear

Why Christ Descended into Hades — Sermon by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Pascha Resources:

Christ is Risen from the Dead!

Singing “Christ is Risen!” in Many Tongues

The Midnight Pascha Service

The Midnight Pascha: A Visitor’s View