Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Message of His Holiness Karekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians on the Occasion of the BLESSING OF THE HOLY MURON

The Message of His Holiness Karekin II
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
on the Occasion of the BLESSING OF THE HOLY MURON
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, 28 September 2008

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"You shall prepare oil for holy annointing…
It is sacred, and therefore should remain sacred for you."
(Exodus 30:25-32)

Dear pious Armenian pilgrims,

From the heights of heaven, holiness descends once more today and disperses blessing, grace and exuberance over our homeland, within our souls, and throughout the whole of Armenian life. In the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, with the prayerful participation of the sons and daughters of our nation dispersed throughout the world, we bless the Holy Muron (Chrism) according to the words granted from our Lord. Glory, unending praise and thanks to our all-provident God.

It is through the beneficent Will of God, that on this festive day of the Holy Cross of Varag, we have gathered together with joyful souls to bless the Holy Muron. We are together in our holiest site where Christ Himself descended, which was drawn with heavenly lights as the center of witness of faith and the altar of oath for our people and for all time. For continuous centuries, guided by the spirit of pilgrimage, our Armenian nation, reinforced and renewed with faith, sees their illuminated path to eternity – their path to salvation and God. "So that this illuminates us with faith and we grow in the house of God; so that this renews us with the graces of the Holy Spirit and fills us, makes us fruitful and bountiful with the same." (Catholicos of All Armenians Simeon of Yerevan). The God-granted and soul-sustaining mission of Holy Etchmiadzin, from the time of Saint Gregory our Illuminator, is dispersed and distributed through the Holy Muron to our churches, our hearths and Armenian life around the globe.

On this grace-renewing day of the Blessing of the Holy Muron, we mixed the most noble, aromatic and healing liquids with the fruit of the olive tree – the symbol of peace with our Creator. To this virtuous mixture, we combined the previous Muron, through which, we transmit the oil blessed by our Lord from generation to generation; and also mixed the newly made Muron of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia. We blessed it with our sacred and cherished relics – with the saving Cross of our Lord, the Holy Lance, and the Holy Right Hand of our Illuminator Pontiff. With the warmest prayers of our souls, we appealed for the intercession of our holy forefathers, so that the newly blessed Muron, through the permeation of the Holy Spirit, becomes "the seal of heavenly cleanliness". We prayed that the seven virtues of heaven be distributed within our lives, and as God has directed, the Muron be and always remain sacred for all of us. Today, this Muron receives miraculous power with the heavenly graces of the Holy Spirit. Today, this substance, through prayer and entreaty, becomes conscious and alive, "I sanctify you, oil of the olive tree, in the name of Almighty God… so that all influences and powers of satan be persecuted by you, so that you become strengthened with blessing, to seal the Holy Spirit on all those whom you anoint, in the name of the Almighty Father and the Son – our Lord Jesus Christ." (Canon of the Blessing of the Muron).

Through the benevolent Will of God, the Holy Muron is holy and sanctifies. With the luminous and sweet aromatic Muron, we consecrate our churches; transforming them into the house of God. Through their ordination with Muron, clergymen are called to service at the holy altar of our Lord. Through the grace-bearing and grace-dispersing Muron, we are born from the baptismal font as the worthy people of God – as the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. Through the seal of the Holy Muron, we recognize, live, feel and protect our Armenian and Christian identity and our national wholeness. Sealed with Holy Muron, we have triumphed over all wars of life and death; over all campaigns for survival and endurance, for the sake of our faith and our homeland. Through the power and light of the Muron, we unite our past, present and the future of our children.

The Blessing of the Holy Muron, dear Armenian sons and daughters, is a call and invitation to our nation, to remain under the graces of holiness, to renounce evil and its works, and to keep the light of our Lord’s gospel undimmed in our lives. The Blessing of the Muron is an exhortation to live with Christ, to walk with Christ, since you were baptized in Christ and took on the garment of Christ with the Holy Muron. (ref. Gal 3:27) Only with our Lord and the love He bestows, shall goodness and justice reign in our lives. Only thus shall the sacred faith our fathers remain unshaken and immaculate in our hearts, and our paths shall become successful and full of hope.

Today we, as Pontiff of All Armenians, are encouraged and optimistic, filled with the hopes of the future, since in our native land of Armenia and Artsakh, in our revitalized Church, in our independent state, but especially in the healthy inner-life of our people, we feel and see the awakening and maturing will and imperative to be cleansed, to be purified, and to create a righteous society and just state. We see the will and the demand to heal our national wounds, to overcome the difficulties in our ecclesiastical life – the divisions and diverging opinions brought on by the times. So that in Armenian life, we are one and united, always and forever – one nation, one faith, one Church – with our united homeland, and to proceed to new accomplishments with one will and one mind, to the realization of our righteous aspirations and worthy goals, to the lasting refuge provided for us by God.

We are optimistic and encouraged from all the goodness bequeathed to our nation by God, from all good works that are fruitful in Armenian life in dispersion, from plans turning into reality which serve the welfare of our people, the prosperity of our homeland, and the vibrancy of our Holy Church. Let us unite and strengthen our efforts so that our native land blossoms and lives in God-granted peace and liberty, and gains strength with our Lord’s true love, with the devotion, talent and creativity of its sons and daughters. Let us take care and be attentive so that our Holy Church dispersed throughout the world, always be vibrant through the traditions and contributions of our ancestors, with its God-loving people who are faithful to their Etchmiadzin-sealed souls. May the unity and mission of our Holy Church and the solidarity of our people be fruitful through the miraculous and nation-gathering graces of strength of the luminous Muron.

Dear pious faithful, on this sacred day of Blessing the Holy Muron, let us gaze again to see the descent of our Lord with the ranks of angels, the destruction of the demons of hell with the strike of the golden hammer, and the flow of life-giving waters from the heavenly altar deluging all of Armenian life, which is the Illuminator’s vision of our people’s baptism and rebirth with the Holy Spirit. Let us see and be reinforced with faith, and be filled with new hopes, with the awakening of reborn life.

O Armenian people, O people graced and triumphant, who through the life you have lived from century to century through heroic testimonies, are faithful to your oath with God established through Holy Etchmiadzin. Be renewed daily with your faith, become luminous with the righteous and beneficial results of church-building and nation-devoted works, so that under God’s blessing, our Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin remains eternally unshaken, our homeland forever crowned by Ararat always remains free and independent, and that Armenians always look to the future with confidence.

It is with these emotions and wishes what we welcome the presence of the president of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; president of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, Bako Sahakian; and high-ranking state authorities of the Armenians; wishing them success in the progress of Armenia and Artsakh, and for the sake of the right of our people in Artsakh to live free.

With our love in Christ, we extend our fraternal greetings to the incumbents of our hierarchal sees, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; and His Beatitude Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; asking for God’s blessing and assistance for their lives.

We are happy on this joyous day for our people, to welcome in Holy Etchmiadzin our brother in Christ, Ecumenical Patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew I, asking for God’s protection for his pious flock.

Our love in Christ we also convey to the graceful representatives of our sister Churches, the diplomats accredited in the Republic of Armenia, and representatives of governmental and international organizations, wishing for them God’s daily guidance in their mission of service.

We convey our pontifical blessings and greet the diocesan primates of our Church, diocesan and parochial councils, our oath-bound ranks of clergy, you – our sons and daughters who have come today as pilgrims, and all our pious people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.

Let us together pray that the Almighty grant reconciliation to the world, keep our homeland in peace under His grace, and keep our people throughout the world secure and tranquil.

May the newly blessed Muron, as God has directed, be sacred for us and all, now and always. Amen.


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