Chrism


Chrism is a balm or oil used in the consecration of religious believers by Catholic bishops, on Holy Thursdays, in order to anoint the baptized and confirmed. This balm is used in both the Eastern and Orthodox churches in specific ceremonies and is often kept in gold containers. The word comes from the Latin chrisma (anointing) and because it is the name given to the upper front part of the head of human beings, its composition is based on the representation of different symbols presented in symbolic ingredients, for example:

  • Olive oil: represents strength
  • Balm: the aroma of this is used to symbolize the sweet smell of Christian life

There are other consecration oils used in episcopal blessings such as: The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens. However, to be used as valid material for the sacrament, said oil must be blessed by a bishop or a priest delegated by the Holy See, these conditions being necessary for its validity. The newly baptized are touched by the bishop with the chrism on the forehead, head and hands as a sign of their consecration, also the walls of the church are consecrated and anointed with the holy oil.

It should be noted that the oils are not the same every year, in fact the bishop must burn the previous oils and verify that each year they are different and new, in the event that a large quantity remains when burned, they are used to be consumed in a lamp, but never in a consecration This rite also includes the renewal of priestly promises, at mass the bishop invites his priests to renew their consecration, their loyalty and faith towards Jesus Christ and the church, publicly promising to unite more with Christ and to be faithful ministers in holy sacrifice to his Name.

The effects of said chrism are of exorcism, in order to strengthen the struggle in the Christian life, while the catechumens and the sick prepare to receive baptism and healing.