(Basilica) - This morning, 29 March 2010, the preparations for the consecration of the Great Myrrh began at the chapel dedicated to the Saint Prophet John the Baptist, at Antim Monastery of Bucharest.
His Eminence Laurenţiu, Metropolitan of Transylvania, celebrated the consecration service of the Holy Water, as delegate of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, together with His Grace Mihail of Australia and New Zealand, His Grace Ciprian Câmpineanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, His Grace Varsanufie Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest and His Grace Ioachim Băcăoanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Roman and Bacău, assisted by a group of priests and deacons, including reverend archimandrite Timotei Aioanei, cultural exarch to the Archdiocese of Bucharest and great ecclesiarch of the Patriarchal Cathedral – informs “Lumina” newspaper.
After the consecration of the holy water, the ingredients and vessels prepared for consecrating the Great Myrrh were sprinkled with holy water. His Eminence Laurenţiu lit the fire that would boil the decoction, while the priests washed the vessels with holy water.
“We glorify God for this beginning of the preparation for the Great Myrrh, as a sacramental work of the Church, a special work invested with the highest canonical authority because only an autocephalous Church can consecrate the Great Myrrh”, said His Eminence Laurenţiu.
His Eminence explained the usage of the Holy Great Myrrh, saying that this preparation “is a very important work from a spiritual point of view for us, because the Great Myrrh prepared here and consecrated on the Holy Thursday, will be distributed to all the churches of the Romanian Patriarchate and used first of all in the Sacrament of the Holy Myrrh of the Holy Unction, because it is the matter consecrated not only by a single hierarch, but by all the bishops of Holy Synod. The Holy Great Myrrh will be used for consecrating the churches, for preparing the table of the Holy Altar just like the tomb of Jesus Christ, our Lord, for consecrating the antimises that will replace the Holy Table. These are the objects absolutely necessary for celebrating the Divine Liturgies, expressing, at the same time, the relation of the priest with his hierarch, because the Holy Antimis is signed by the local hierarch. The Holy Great Myrrh will be kept at the Patriarchate for the needs of all the religious units of all our churches over the year.
Tomorrow morning, after the celebration of the Hours service, the preparation of the plants decoction will begin, which will be mixed on Wednesday with olive oil, and on the Holy Thursday, will be consecrated by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, within the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great.
The olive oil for preparing the Great Myrrh was offered by the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy and by the Metropolitan See of Corinth (Greece) as a present, and the wine by the Archdiocese of Tomis. The fifteen spices and most of the thirty essential oils were acquired from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, France, Bulgaria, Spain and Jerusalem, as Trinitas Radio Station informs us.