Perhaps, there is no entirely healthy person on our planet: as a result of the original sin, humanity suffers from many diseases. Some of them are inheritable diseases, and others are acquired in the process of a godless life, violating the laws of God and nature, and neglecting the principles of healthy living in general. Diseases dampen our lives, so very often a person resorts to the anointing to salvage themselves from them.
Few people know what anointing is. What is the essence of anointing? What is its great secret?
What does anointing mean in the Bible?
Chrismation is a rite of the Orthodox and some other churches,which involves the priest anointing the believer’s forehead with consecrated chrism — oil. At the same time, the sign of the cross is depicted, which symbolically means the outpouring of God's mercy on the anointed. What is the meaning of anointing oil in the Bible? The answer can be found in Exodus 40: 9-15.
Everything that was anointed with oil was considered purified and sanctified. Thus, the essence of this rite is the following: God wants to purify and sanctify a person through the fulfilment of his Holy Spirit.
Chrism was also considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, there is a symbolic meaning in this process. Studying the Scriptures of the Old Testament, we have found no mention of the prayer of the sick with chrismation. But we see a special case in which the Old Testament priest smeared the oil of a person who was healed of leprosy (Leviticus 14:14-18).
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The fact that cured of disease was covered with oil meant that God completely forgives him, purifies his whole body, and the Holy Spirit is present in a special way on this person. When the disciples of Jesus "put oil on" the sick Israelis who knew the Holy Scriptures, it was clear that God touched them, forgave, and purged them from diseases, as He cleaned the leper from leprosy.
Why is olive oil used for chrismation? In ancient times, the oil squeezed out of olives was considered the most transparent, most brightly burning and durable of all oils, both of animal and vegetable origin. It was also considered the purest and therefore perfect for anointing.
Thus, it can be concluded that chrismation helps a Christian to grow and strengthen in the spiritual life.
Types of anointing
There are no specific types of anointing, but there are cases in which it is used most often.
Usually, the anointing rite is mistakenly considered a personal ceremony, but it is not. However, the ministry should not be performed in case of common ailment. It should be done only in case of a severe illness. The purpose of anointing is not to bless a dying person, but to heal the alive. It is necessary to address to God first and not least. The essence of chrismation is not only a request for healing but also, and most importantly, for the restoration of the closest relationship with the Lord; it is a transfer of your life into the hands of the Almighty with the words: "Thy will be done."
When a person is sick, priests anoint them with consecrated oil with the reading of the Gospel, the Apostle, and prayers calling for Divine grace. The oil is applied crosswise to the forehead, nostrils, cheeks, mouth, chest, outer and back of the palms.
The sacrament of anointing was established by the Lord Jesus Christ and was completed in apostolic times. It serves as blessed healing of physical and mental ailments and grants the patient forgiveness of reserved sin. The oil in this sacrament signifies the mercy of God, and the wine added to it in a small amount is the atoning Blood of the Savior.
Another case is receiving baptism. One of the names of the Savior, Christ, in Greek means "anointed one." The anointing of a man by oil in ancient times testified to being used of God, to the involvement of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The baptismal anointing of the forehead, chest, ears, hands, and feet has several meanings. First, it signifies union with Christ, like the union of a wild branch with a fruitful olive. Secondly, it speaks of dying for sin, because earlier departed were poured with oil. Thirdly, it gives strength to further fight against sin like in ancient times, when fighters have smeared the body with oil.
The myrrh is radically different from chrism. In the original Church, each newly baptised received the blessing and gift of the Holy Spirit with the help of an apostle or bishop. The myrrh translates from Greek as "fragrant oil," it is a special blend of vegetable oils and aromatic herbs.
The sacrament is performed once in a lifetime like receiving baptism. During Confirmation, a priest puts a sign of the cross on the forehead, eyelids, nostrils, on the lips and ears, on the hands and upper parts of the feet.
These sacraments are unique. After them, the relationship between man and God completely changes. No matter how sinful a person is, in the case of sincere repentance, the Father will forgive them.
In the sacrament of anointing, divine grace is given for our spiritual growth, which introduces humans to the life of the Church and makes possible his or her participation in other mysteries. But this is a personal choice. You can not force a person to join in what they do not believe or do not want to do.
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