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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chrism \Chrism\, n. [OE. crisme, from AS. crisma; also OE. creme, fr. OF. cresme, like the AS. word fr. LL. chrisma, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to anoint; perh. akin to L. friare, fricare, to rub, Skr. gharsh, E. friable, friction. Cf. Chrisom.] (Gr. & R. C. Church?s)

  1. Olive oil mixed with balm and spices, consecrated by the bishop on Maundy Thursday, and used in the administration of baptism, confirmation, ordination, etc.

  2. The same as Chrisom.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"oil mingled with balm," Old English chrisma, from Church Latin chrisma, from Greek khrisma "an unguent, anointing, unction," from khriein "to anoint," from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub" (cognates: Lithuanian griej├╣ "to skim the cream off"). Chrisom "baptismal robe," is a c.1200 variant of this. Related: Chrismal; chrismatory.


n. A mixture of oil and balm, consecrated for use as an anointing fluid in certain Christian ceremonies, especially confirmation.


n. a consecrated ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam [syn: chrisom, sacramental oil, holy oil]


Chrism, also called myrrh, myron, holy anointing oil, and consecrated oil, is a consecrated oil used in the Anglican, Armenian, Assyrian, Catholic and Old Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and Nordic Lutheran Churches in the administration of certain sacraments and ecclesiastical functions.

Usage examples of "chrism".

Therefore it is unfitting that the person baptized should be anointed thrice with holy oil first on the breast, and then between the shoulders, and a third time with chrism on the top of the head.

Fathers that when heretics, baptized in the name of the Trinity, come back to Holy Church, they are to be welcomed to her bosom, either with the anointing of chrism, or the imposition of hands, or the mere profession of faith.

Yet in doing this we followed the ancient custom of our Church: but if this trouble some so very much we permit priests, where no bishop is to be had, to anoint the baptized on the forehead with chrism.

But a simple priest can anoint the baptized with chrism on the top of the head.

And the traveller Leopold was couth to him sithen it had happed that they had had ado each with other in the house of misericord where this learningknight lay by cause the traveller Leopold came there to be healed for he was sore wounded in his breast by a spear wherewith a horrible and dreadful dragon was smitten him for which he did do make a salve of volatile salt and chrism as much as he might suffice.

Straightway there descends a dove white as snow, bearing in its beak an ampulla full of chrism sent from heaven.

Bishop takes the ampulla, sprinkles the baptismal water with chrism, and straightway the dove vanishes.

Domremy should know of the baptism of King Clovis of France, and of the descent of the Holy Ghost, at the singing of Veni Creator Spiritus, bearing in its beak the holy ampulla, full of chrism blessed by Our Lord?

Further, sacraments of the New Law, as having matter, are perfected by the use of the matter, as Baptism is by ablution, and Confirmation by signing with chrism.

Wherefore he is fittingly signed with the sign of the cross on the forehead, with chrism, for two reasons.

Yet in doing this we followed the ancient custom of our Church: but if this trouble some so very much we permit priests, where no bishop is to be had, to anoint the baptized on the forehead with chrism.

But it belongs, not to priests, but to bishops, to sign with the chrism.

But in the other sacraments the substance of the matter remains, like the substance of water in Baptism, and the substance of chrism in Confirmation.

And because the blessing of the chrism, and of the holy oil, and of the oil of the sick, and other consecrated things, such as altars, churches, vestments, and sacred vessels, makes such things fit for use in performing the sacraments which belong to the priestly duty, therefore such consecrations are reserved to the bishop as the head of the whole ecclesiastical order.

It follows, therefore, that parts are assigned to Penance as a sacrament, to which the human acts are related as matter: whereas in the other sacraments the matter does not consist of human acts, but of some one external thing, either simple, as water or oil, or compound, as chrism, and so parts are not assigned to the other sacraments.