13 Comments

  1. An interesting consequence is that the Catholic Church may be said to have types of the ordinances. For them, baptism is a type of washing; confirmation, which always uses a special type of oil called “chrism”, is a type of anointing; receiving the Eucharist is a type of an endowment of power if not the presence of God.

  2. This is one of my favorite subject, great post!

    The old question of “Are Mormon’s Christian,” in my opinion should be answered with Cyril’s lectures. When we really understand that a person is a “Christian,” or one that is anointed, The word Christ mean anointed, when he/she is anointed.

    I answer the above question, with yes, but can anyone (church) answer in the affirmative besides the LDS church? The answer is no.

    So the real question is; Are there any true christian (giving proper anointings) churches besides the LDS church? Which we are forced to answer “no” to.

    Check out my links on this topic: Are Mormons Christians and Cyril

    -David

  3. You’re right. It is profound when Cyril says,

    “It is because you are worthy of this holy anointing (chrism) that you are called Christians…. it is by following this road that you have advanced to the point of earning that title.”

    According to Cyril, you must be anointed to become a Christian, because only then have you become a “Christ,” or one who is anointed. As we enter into the ordinances of Christ’s gospel we become more and more like the Savior each step of the way. That is how a Christian truly takes upon them the name of Christ and becomes one with Him.

    I particularly like Cyril’s explanation of the importance of the ordinances as an imitation of Christ and his sufferings so that we might become partakers of his salvation:

    “O strange and inconceivable thing! we did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again; but our imitation was in a figure, and our salvation in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things He has freely bestowed upon us, that we, sharing His sufferings by imitation, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and suffered anguish; while on me without pain or toil by the fellowship of His suffering He freely bestows salvation.”

  4. Of course, many Christians have forgotten what it means to be anointed – which such an ordinance here always means something preparatory to what will occur beyond the veil, which is to become kings and queens, priests and priestesses, “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

    Catholics believe in each Christian’s apostolate: that is, each Christian is an apostle and, as such, duty-bound to spread the Gospel and perfect the saints. While this is true to some degree, the Temple teaches us that we actually go beyond this. We become christs, in a sense, with a small “c” (just as we all are prophets with a small “p”), saviors on Mt. Zion, to do those things to bring salvation to others that they cannot do themselves.

    I like what you quoted, Bryce. Allow me to emphasize a part:
    and all these things He has freely bestowed upon us, that we, sharing His sufferings by imitation, might gain salvation in reality
    Quite revelatory of the Temple, where this is symbolically done, perhaps?

  5. Alan Avans

    It is still done in a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in the context of the Paschal Liturgy. The way I see it, there are two templates, perhaps both being equally auspicious, that originate with the original Israelite temple cultus, namely the Masonic template and the Catholic template. I say perhaps….personally I believe the Catholic template to be the superior one. Nevertheless Joseph was right, Masonry had its origins from Solomon’s temple.

  6. I continue to be amazed when Latter-day Saints point to ancient ritual in the early Christian/Catholic Church as something they believe has disappeared, when in fact, that ritual is very much still in place and can be easily witnessed. It is fine to point to it in comparison to LDS temple ritual, but incorrect to suggest it only existed anciently, and not currently. I recommend Latter-day Saints get themselves to an Easter Vigil mass, and to the masses leading up to it, to see the rites of initiation firsthand before assuming incorrectly they no longer exist. At no time have they disappeared. The anointing of sense organs with chrism (consecrated oil) is very much a part of the rite of initiation into the Church, as is baptism and confirmation.

  7. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that sometimes we are too quick to say that certain rituals have entirely disappeared. Indeed, this website should be a testament to the fact that they have not (see my post on the Hopi anointing, for instance). But they have changed since the first centuries A.D., I think most of us could agree on that. Latter-day Saints believe that the gospel and its ordinances were restored in their purity, not necessarily in their entirety from an absence. We believe many parts and themes have been left behind of the ordinances as they once were. That is one of the focuses of this website. I’d love to visit an Easter Vigil Mass and witness the rites of that ceremony.

  8. D Thorpe

    Notes on Anointings through history:

    Powel Mills Dawley wrote that candidates for baptism in the early Church would be anointed before they went down into the font. Thus, they “received the first anointing with oil.” Then, after stepping down into the font, they were asked three questions & immersed into the water or the water of Baptism was poured upon them. Upon coming up from the water they were anointed again.1

    Tertullian, A.D. 145—220, wrote about washings and anointings, and the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost: “The flesh indeed is washed that the soul may be cleansed; the flesh is anointed that the soul may be consecrated; the flesh is signed [with the cross] that the soul too may be fortified; the flesh is shadowed by the imposition of hands that the soul also may be enlightened by the Spirit. . .”2

    About 610–630, on a Byzantine silver dish, excavated on the island of Cyprus, there is a depiction of the anointing of David by Samuel, who holds a horn filled with oil over David’s head. Thus, David becomes an anointed King.3

    920-30, in the Bible of Leo the Patrician, made at Constantinople, is a depiction of The Anointing of David, for over his head is held a horn filled with anointing substance.4

    936–1075, like other Christian kings, such as in France and Anglo-Saxon England, the early Germans, considered their “ecclesiastical anointment with holy oil upon coronation,”5 to have acquired a sacral or sacred nature. Hence, their acts of anointment raises the king above other laymen, making him the vicar of Christ on earth, anointed of God. Such acts were portrayed in Ottonian and Salian art, architecture and liturgical dramas and ceremonies.6

    These anointing rituals of the Christian kings, preserved in part, the anointing rituals of the mystery dramas. The anointing of the kings was also called “The coronation” rite, or the “Unction with a special holy chrism”.7 This is often depicted in early to later Christian art works. One example of this is of Charles V. 8

    “The Byzantine emperor was referred to as ‘anointed of the Lord’ and ‘living icon of Christ’. While the coronation ritual acclaimed him as ‘crowned by God’ and ‘crowned by Christ’.”9

    End Notes:

    1- Powel Mills Dawley, Our Christian Heritage, Church History and the Episcopal Church, (New York: Morehouse-Barlow Company, 1959, 3rd ed., 1960, pp.49-50.

    2- Henry Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers, A Selection from the writings of the Fathers from St. Clement of Rome to St. Athanasius, (London; New York; Toronto: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1956), p. 198. Tertullian, De Resurrection Carnis, 8.

    3- Kurt Weitzmann, Editor, Age of Spirituality, Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979). C. 610–630, on a Byzantine silver dish, excavated on the island of Cyprus, there is a depiction of the anointing of David by Samuel, who holds a horn filled with oil, over David’s head. See also: The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 566.

    4- John Beckwith, The Art of Constantinople, An Introduction to Byzantine Art 330–1453, (Greenwich – Connecticut: Phaidon Publishers Inc., Distributed by New York Graphic Society, 1961), p. 72, fig. 86. A.D. 920-30, in the Bible of Leo the Patrician, made at Constantinople, is a depiction of The Anointing of David, for over his head is held a horn filled with anointing substance. Vatican, Reg. gr. I, fol. 263r.

    5- John W. Bernhardt, Itinerant Kingship And Royal Monasteries In Early Medieval Germany, c. 936–1075, (New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 48–49.

    6- John W. Bernhardt, Itinerant Kingship And Royal Monasteries In Early Medieval Germany, c. 936–1075, (New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 48–49.

    7- Eve Borsook, Messages In Mosaic, The Royal Programmes of Norman Sicily (1130—1187), (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp. 2—3.

    8- Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein, & Pieter Bruegel, Great Artists Of The Western World, The Northern Renaissance, (London; New York; Sydney: Marshall Cavendish, 1985 & 1988, Reference Edition published in 1988).

    9- Eve Borsook, Messages In Mosaic, The Royal Programmes of Norman Sicily (1130—1187), (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 3, see also foot notes 35 & 36.

  9. FOR THE AUTHOR:

    Bryce,
    I stumbled upon this website when I went looking for Cyril’s “On the Mysteries” and overall I must say that I appreciate the information and the way you have presented it. The tone, especially in response to those of other faiths is respectful and open. When talking about the mysteries of religious acts I often see Mormons stating that many things are new and profound when in actuality they partially existed–if not practiced on the whole–before Mormon temples were built. I think one of the most important things that God could reveal to his children is the purpose behind his sacraments and ordinances.

    Thank you

  10. Andrew Lacayo

    In response to Muslihoon’s first post, the Catholics got their mass from the endowment; which is why there are so many similarities still present. Like the ritual that happens every 25 years at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where the Pope knocks on the door three times and lets the congregation “enter God’s presence.” There are plenty of other similarities, but that one is really obvious.

  11. In relation to the washing,anointing and clothing ritual, a few years ago looked in my copy of Strong’s
    Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, published by Abingdon Press in 1977. Below is what I found in the
    Hebrew(H), Greek(G), and Chaldea(Ch) in relation to these topics. I will use the numbering system that is used
    there.
    Wash H Wash G
    rachas 7364 louo 3068
    kabas 3526 apolouo 628
    to clean baptizo G : to overwhelm
    Anoint H Anoint G

    mashack H 4886 christos G 5548
    maschiah H chrisma G 5547
    to consecrate

    clothe H clothe G
    labesh H 3847 enduo G 1746
    labash Ch 3848
    to invest with clothing, to invest with authority.
    These ordinances as shown by even the languages alone show they have been around since the beginning. I hope
    this will aid others.

    Mashack 4886

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *