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[6-7] lagði krismu í lesni ‘laid chrism in the headband’: Anointing with chrism (a mixture of consecrated oil and balsam) was a standard part of medieval baptismal practice. That Iceland was no exception to the norm is confirmed by Bishop Árni Þorláksson’s ‘Boðskapur’ (DI II, 23-37), a series of instructions to clergy in his Skálholt diocese, which are dated September 1269, shortly after Árni’s accession to the see. They claim to confirm and update a similar document of Bishop Magnús Gizurarson (bishop of Skálholt 1216-29, 1231-7; DI I, 423-63) which is dated 1224, but does not include detail of baptismal practice. The version of Árni’s ‘Boðskapur’ preserved in AM 456 12° fols 130-6 discusses infant baptism at some length: ... þa skal [prestrinn] signa þat [barn] ok gefa sallt vigt ok lesa gudspiall yfir ok giora krossa yfir med hraka sinum fyri eyrum ok nosum ok leida i kirkiu. smyria sidan ä brioste ok millum herde med oleo sancto ok sidan med krisma j hǫfdi. færa j skirnar klædi ok fa kerti loganda j hond ... ‘Then the priest must sign the child and give it consecrated salt and read the gospel over it and make the sign of the cross over its ears and nose with his saliva and lead it into the church; then [the priest must] annoint [the child’s] breast and between its shoulders with holy oil and then annoint its head with chrism, put it into baptismal clothes and set a burning candle in its hand...’ (DI II, 26). An alternative version of Árni’s instructions, preserved in AM 456 12° fols 93-4, gives further details of the headband used to seal the chrism (DI II, 51): dregla suo langa at uel megi knyta um hofudit. ok suo breida at hyli krisma krossinu. ... Þriar nætur skulu dreglar um hofudit barnanna ok skulu mædurnar at geyma ok lata eigi at falla ... sidan skulu þuozt hǫfud barnanna j lut ok j uormu uatni ok kasta j elld dreglinum ‘the band [should be] so long that it can be wound around the head, and so broad as to hide the chrism cross ... the children must wear the bands round their heads for three nights and their mothers must look after them and not allow them to fall ... then they must wash the heads of the children in lye and warm water and throw the bands into the fire’. Tveitane (1966, 131 n. 3) argued that the use of the word krisma ‘chrism’ indicates a direct borrowing from the Pseudo-Wulfstan homily Sermo angelorum nomina (Pseudo-Wulfstan Homily XLV, in Napier 1883, 226-32). However, there are considerable differences between the two accounts of the baptism. In the OE text, and its Lat. source Epistola Salvatoris Domini nostri Jesu Christi (Priebsch 1899, 130-4), Christ is anointed with both oil and chrism, while Leið mentions only chrism. Although the Lat. text includes no account of Christ’s salutation as the Son of God, the OE indicates that, after John had baptised and anointed him, an angel came from heaven and announced: Þis is min leofa sunu, on þæm ic me wel gelicode, geherað him wel ‘This is my dear son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen carefully to him’ (Napier 1883, 229). Leið credits John only with the baptism itself and asserts that the Holy Spirit performed the anointing (24/5-8).
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