The Blessing of the Holy Muron (Holy Chrism) took place at the Cilician Catholicosate in Antelias–Lebanon on Saturday–May 26. Lebanese President Gen. Emile Lahoude attended the ceremony–along with representatives of the Lebanese prime minister and parliament speaker–and several state ministers and deputies.
Thousands of pilgrims from Lebanon–Syria–Iran–Greece–Cyprus–Kuwait–the Gulf states–and Venezuela traveled to Antelias to take part in the momentous event. A large number of pilgrims from the United States and Canada also participated in the ceremony.
His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–performed the Blessing and the Divine Liturgy–with twelve bishops and archbishops. His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan–Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey–took part in the ceremony–upon the invitation of Aram I. Religious leaders representing Holy Etchmiadzin and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem also partook in the ceremony.
Balsam–the main ingredient of the Holy Muron–was added to the kettle by Aram I. Aged Muron from Etchmiadzin was added to the new Muron in Antelias.
In his message to the people–Catholicos Aram I said that the Holy Muron was able to secure the continuation of the Armenian Church. He mentioned how the same Muron has been used to baptize the children of the Armenian nation for 1700 years without cessation. His Holiness spoke of the Church’s role in the spiritual life of the Armenian people–and the restructuring of the Church so that these responsibilities can be fulfilled.