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Canon VI.

That the chrism should not be made by presbyters.

Fortunatus the bishop, said:  In former councils we remember that it was decreed that the chrism or the reconciliation of penitents, as also the consecration of virgins be not done by presbyters:  but should anyone be discovered to have done this, what ought we to decree with regard to him?

Aurelius the bishop said:  Your worthiness has heard the suggestion of our brother and fellow-bishop Fortunatus; What answer will you give?

446And all the bishops replied:  Neither the making of the chrism, nor the consecration of virgins, is to be done by presbyters, nor is it permitted to a presbyter to reconcile anyone in the public mass (in publica missa), this is the pleasure of all of us.


Ancient Epitome of Canon VI.

Let no presbyter make the chrism, nor prepare the unction, nor consecrate virgins, nor publicly reconcile anyone to communion.

This is Canon iij. of the Carthaginian Synod under Genethlius, a.d. 387 or 390.


Not the chrism used upon persons at their baptism, says the scholion in Bishop Beveridge’s Annotation, but the Mystical Chrism, viz., that used at Confirmation; though neither was the chrism used at baptism to be consecrated by Priests.  See Decr. of Gelasius 6.

Du Pin observes, That this is one of the first monuments where the name of “mass” occurs to signify the public prayers, which the church made at offering the Eucharist.  And let the reader observe, that there is no mention of the “mass” in the copies which the Greeks made use of.  And further, he restrains the meaning of the word “mass” too much, when he supposes that it denoted the Communion Office only.

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