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Chrismation (Confirmation)

Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:38

What is Chrismation?

Through the sacrament of Chrismation, a person receives the Holy Spirit in the same way that He descended on the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), for which reason it is often called a "personal Pentecost." The newly baptised Christian is anointed with holy myrrh on various parts of the body, while the priest says, "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit." When a newly built church is consecrated, the bishop anoints the walls of the church in the same manner. Chrismation thus also signifies the consecration of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

When is a person Chrismated?

Unlike the Roman Catholic and many Protestant churches, where confirmation is delayed until a person is "of age", chrismation in the Orthodox Church takes place immediately after baptism. 

Reception into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation

In accordance with Canon 7 of the 2nd Ecumenical Council, the Ecumenical Patriarchate receives Christians who were already baptised in their previous denomination into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation rather than Baptism if (i) their baptism was performed "in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", (ii) it involved a triple application of water (e.g. three immersions as opposed to a single immersion), and (iii) their previous denomination had an orthodox understanding of the Holy Trinity (i.e. they believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be three Persons of one essence, rather than three gods or three manifestations of one divine person). Otherwise, they should be received by baptism.

Adults who wish to become Orthodox will first need to undergo a period of instruction in the Orthodox Christian faith. The length of instruction will depend on the person’s prior knowledge and particular circumstances. Once the priest feels the person is in a position to make an informed and sincere choice, they can proceed with the Chrismation.