An indelible mark on the soul

   

 

 

 

 

The Sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation) immediately follows baptism and is never delayed until a later age. As the ministry of Christ was enlivened by the Spirit, and the preaching of the Apostles strengthened by the Spirit so is the life of each Orthodox Christian sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Chrismation, which is often referred to as one's personal Pentecost, is the Sacrament which specially imparts the Spirit.

 

In the Sacrament of Chrismation, the priest anoints the various parts of the body of the newly-baptized with Holy Oil saying: "The seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Oil, which is blessed by the bishop, is a sign of consecration and strength. The Sacrament emphasizes the truths that not only is each person a valuable member of the Church, but also each one is blessed by the Spirit with specific gifts and talents. The anointing also reminds us that our bodies are valuable and are involved in the process of salvation.

 

The Sacraments of initiation always are concluded with the distribution of Holy Communion to the newly-baptized. Ideally, this takes place within the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This practice reveals that Orthodoxy views children from their infancy as essential members of the Church. There is never a time when the young are not part of God's people.

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