Chrismation

The Sacrament of Chrismation (confirmation) is a God-ordained ceremony in which the newly-baptized person is annointed by chrisma (myron-oil), thus reinforcing the spiritual life which began with baptism. Chrismation is the "seal" of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Chrismation is not to be confused with baptism in regard to gifts bestowed. The Apostles applied chrismation to already baptized Christians as a sacred act by which the Grace of God is bestowed. Newly-baptized persons in the early Church who had not yet received the seal of the Grace of the Holy Spirit were called to do so.

The Sacrament of Chrismation was originally practiced in 2 forms. One by using only oil for Chrismation, the other by the laying of the hands on the baptized persons. Regardless of the form used, the purpose remains the that of transmitting the Grace of God to the baptized person for his salvation. The annointing with oil was a practice in the Old Testament where the priests and the prophets involked divine blessings for the preservation of the faith and moral life.

Chrismation is bestowed on the newly-baptized person through holy oil (myron), which consists of many substances symbolizing the various chrismata (gifts) of the Holy Spirit. The holy oil is placed in the form of a cross on various parts of the body with the words "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, Amen". The indispensable elements of the perceptible sign and act of chrismation are the myron and the invocation of the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This practice existed from the very begining of the Church and is acknowledged by the Fathers.

The sanctification of the myron (oil) is only by bishops. Its origin is seen in early church ecclesiastical literature; it is mentioned in Apostolic teachings and by the Fathers of the Church. Responsibility for the myron belongs only to bishops, as does the ordination of priests.

The preparation for receiving chrismation is the same as that for baptisn, in faith and piety. The Sacrament of Chrismation takes place immediately following that of Baptism. Chrismation is inseparably united with baptism for the redemptive Grace bestowed on the recipient.

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