Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Easter Tradition: Bishop Rutherford I Blesses Wax "Agnus Dei" Disks

The Agnus Dei disks, some
immersed in water, some
already on a tray to dry. 

By. A. Hernandez


The sacred ceremony of blessing the wax Agnus Dei disks, a practice deeply rooted in the history of the Christian faith, was revived last year in the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and continues to signify the deep spiritual connection and continuity within the Church. The ritual was performed by His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia, and the blessed wax disks will be distributed far and wide. 

The revival of blessing the Agnus Dei disks in the United Roman-Ruthenian Church is not just about bringing back an old custom. It is about reconnecting with a rich spiritual heritage and offering the faithful tangible tokens of divine protection and blessing. In a world that often seems disconnected from its spiritual roots, the reintroduction of this tradition serves as a beacon of hope and faith.

Blessing the Agnus Dei disks with
incense before they are immersed
in water.

The decision last year to revive the blessing of the Agnus Dei disks has been met with enthusiasm. It has sparked a renewed interest in the Church's ancient traditions and customs, bringing the faithful closer together and deepening their spiritual lives. The blessed disks have become cherished items, symbolizing unity, protection, and the enduring presence of God in their lives.

Removing the baptized Agnus Dei wax disks from the water.

Understanding the Agnus Dei Disks

The Agnus Dei, which translates to "Lamb of God" in Latin, is more than just a symbol within Christianity; it represents Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for humanity's salvation. The Agnus Dei disks are small, round wax pieces that have been blessed by the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia. These disks are traditionally made from the leftover wax and are embossed with the image of the Lamb of God. , symbolizing Christ.

H.H. Bishop Rutherford I
wearing the vestments
designated for this ritual.

The Ceremony of Blessing

The ritual, which typically takes place on Wednesday of Paschal Week, involves a special prayer and ritual, where the bishop invokes God's blessing upon the wax disks, asking for His protection over those who will use them. This ceremony not only highlights the continuity of the Church's traditions but also strengthens the bond between the pontiff and the faithful.

Before the ceremony, the prepared disks are placed on trays and laid on the altar or a table designation for the ceremony. The Bishop-Imperator begins the ceremony by invoking the Holy Spirit, asking for divine assistance in blessing the sacramental. The water to be used is blessed, and then fragrance and the Holy Chrism (one of the holy oils) are added to it. He then blesses the disks, also using incense, symbolizing purification and sanctification. Specific prayers are recited, asking God to impart His blessings upon the Agnus Dei and those who will use them. The disks are then baptized by being immersed in the water and oil mixture, after which they are removed and placed on trays to dry. The Agnus Dei disks are distributed and made available to the faithful as a gift of spiritual protection and grace.

The Significance of the Agnus Dei Disks

The blessed Agnus Dei disks carry a profound spiritual significance. They are considered sacramentals, objects that the Church provides to help the faithful sanctify their everyday lives. The disks are often kept in homes, carried as personal protectors, or given as gifts to provide spiritual comfort and protection. They are symbols of Christ's presence in the lives of believers, serving as reminders of His sacrifice and love.