Chrismation is the act of anointing a newly baptized person with oil. Baptism and Chrismation therefore are two aspects of a larger whole. In Baptism our human nature is brought into a new mode of existence, into a new way of being human. It is not the change of our human nature into some other kind of nature, but the restoration of our human nature to the mode God has always intended for us. In Baptism the image of God in us is healed and restored to be like Christ. This makes it possible for us to then mature in the likeness of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is what Chrismation signifies. Thus we anoint the newly baptized immediately with the oil of Chrismation to signify that just as the Spirit hovered over the waters in the creation of the heavens and the earth, so He hovers over all who are recreated and made new creations in Christ through Baptism. The anointing oil signifies that now the power of the Holy Spirit is at work in and through the new human nature of the person just baptized in order to actually make him or her into the likeness of God. Furthermore, in baptismal services we also prepare the Table for the newly baptized to come to, with Chrismation coming after baptism and before the Table. As we see in Psalm 23, when our Good Shepherd prepares His Eucharistic Table for us, He anoints our head with oil (Ps. 23:5). Thus all who are newly baptized in a Basileia baptismal service are immediately anointed with oil before proceeding to their first Eucharistic experience at the Table. For what good does it do to come to this Table if we don’t do it in the power of the Holy Spirit? What good is it to receive a new human nature in Christ through Baptism if we don’t turn on the power and see what this new human nature can do? We’re no more the source of this power than we are the source of the power that lights up a light bulb when we flip a power switch. God supplies the power and in Chrismation we “flip the switch” on in order to shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father.

Also see Baptism, Shine Like the Sun, and Theosis.