The consecration of the Holy Great Myrrh represents the visible manifestation of the synodality of an Orthodox Autocephalous Church and her full pastoral responsibility.The Great Myrrh is prepared and consecrated when the myrrh quantity present is almost run out of, according to the requirements of the pastoral-missionary work of the Church.
The Great Myrrh is prepared out of the following ingredients: best olive oil, white wine and many spices and flavoursv which symbolise the gifts of the Holy Spirit. After consecration, the Great Myrrh is called the HOLY GREAT MYRRH. It will be used for the Ointment Sacrament (after Baptism), consecration, re-consecration of the churches and for the consecration of the antimises.
In order to prepare the Great Myrrh this year, the olive oil was offered by the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy and by the Metropolitan See of Corinth as a present, and the wine by the Archdiocese of Tomis.
The fifteen flavoured plants and the most part of the thirty essential oils needed were acquired from abroad, from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, France, Bulgaria, Spain and Jerusalem, with the financial support of the Romanian Orthodox eparchies from the country and abroad. The other essential oils were offered to the Romanian Patriarchate by Rev. Archim. Prof. Dr. Qais Sadiq on behalf of the Patriarchate of Antioch, because he studied theology in Romania and visits periodically the Arab Orthodox faithful of our country.
Due to the importance of the Holy Great Myrrh in the Church and in the life of the faithful, it is kept in a place of honour, in the Holy Altar and used, with all proper honour, only in case of need.
After the consecration of the Great Myrrh this year, every eparchy of the Romanian Patriarchate will receive five litres of Holy Great Myrrh in a stainless amphora made in Greece for the purpose. A part of this amount will be kept in every eparchial Cathedral for consecrating the antimises, for consecrating and re-consecrating the church, while another part of it will be distributed to the parishes of the eparchy for celebrating the Extreme Unction Sacrament.
The Great Myrrh was consecrated for the first time in the Romanian Orthodox Church on the Holy Thursday (25 March), in 1882. The consecration was celebrated by the Primate Metropolitan Calinic Miclescu and by the hierarchs of the Holy Synod during the Divine Liturgy officiated in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Bucharest, three years before the recognition of the Autocephaly of the Romanian Orthodox Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate (1885).
After the raising of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the rank of Patriarchate (1925), the Great Myrrh was consecrated for the first time by Patriarch Miron Cristea and by the members of the Holy Synod on 1 April 1926. The Great Myrrh was consecrated for 20 times in the Romanian Orthodox Church so far (1882, 1894, 1906, 1921, 1936, 1934, 1942, 1950, 1955, 1958, 1965, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2007).
The consecration of the Great Myrrh this year, for the 21st time in the Romanian Orthodox Church, is part of the manifestations of 2010, the Holy Synod proclaimed as Homage Year of the Orthodox Creed and of the Romanian Autocephaly.
PRESS OFFICE OF THE ROMANIAN PATRIARCHATE