Friday, March 29, 2019

Lent XXI

Having been baptized into Christ, and put on Christ, you have been made conformable to the Son of God; for God having foreordained us unto adoption as sons, made us to be conformed to the body of Christ's glory. Having therefore become partakers of Christ, you are properly called Christs, and of you God said, Touch not My Christs, or anointed. Now you have been made Christs, by receiving the antitype of the Holy Ghost; and all things have been wrought in you by imitation, because you are images of Christ. He washed in the river Jordan, and having imparted of the fragrance of His Godhead to the waters, He came up from them; and the Holy Ghost in the fullness of His being lighted on Him, like resting upon like. And to you in like manner, after you had come up from the pool of the sacred streams, there was given an Unction, the antitype of that wherewith Christ was anointed; and this is the Holy Ghost....

[St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Mystagogical Lecture 3, also sometimes known as Catechetical Lecture 21. There was a period during which scholars often questioned whether St. Cyril actually did write the Mystagogical Lectures (it's not controversial that he wrote the Catechetical Lectures); but the arguments against have never been particularly strong, and his authorship is generally recognized today. ]

'Christ', of course, is Greek for 'Anointed', so to receive Chrism is to become a Christ. Later in the lecture, Cyril says that it is chrismation that makes us Christians, establishing us in the name; before confirmation, we are merely becoming Christian.

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