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At the consecration of a church, wax-mastic is being used to seal in the relics into the Holy Table. Also the table top of the Holy Table is secured with wax-mastic and nails. Small reliquaries with relics are also have often the fragments of relics encased in wax/mastic to secure them.

The process to create wax/mastic is generally described in the order of the Great Consecration of the Church. However it seems that the ingredient list is also depending on local traditions.

Ingredient List

The common ingredients of wax-mastic are:

  • Mastic
  • Gum Benzoin Sumatra
  • Aloe
  • Gum Olibanum (Frankincense)
  • Myrrh Gum
  • Ground Marble
  • Rose Incense
  • Rose Oil
  • Pure Bees Wax

Some of these ingredients may differ depending on local customs and different scents desired, but this is the overall common list needed.

Note(s): Especially the resins (gums) and marble should be in powdered form. If they cannot be obtained in powdered form there should be ground before usage. An electric coffee grinder will help with this process. It is also good to be aware that sometimes a substance called "white sulfur" is said to be needed, but after an extensive search for this, we believe this is a translation mishap and is, as found in Slavonic lists, supposed to be "ground marble." The ground marble will strengthen, harden, and even whiten the wax-mastic as "white sulfur" should, but "white sulfur" either does not exist, incredibly difficult to find even for Google, or is simply a bad translation.

Making the Wax-Mastic

Acquire all the ingredients needed, then crush everything that needs to be ground down in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle if need be (although this will take much more time, esp for the incense). Heat the wax so it is boiling (it will look clear when hot) and then once it is hot enough, add all other ingredients. Then stir to keep them from boiling over and to give it an even mixture throughout.

Once everything is mixed in, you have your wax-mastic.

To then use it, you may want to turn down the heat and keep it just hot enough to keep it liquid, but not so hot that it'll scald you as you will need to pour it carefully for the various purposes during the Great Consecration.

Personal note: We used a metal pitcher and a hot plate to heat ours, and it works quite nicely as it is portable and already in a pitcher so it is easily pourable. You can also leave it on the hot plate during the service until needed to keep it warm so it stays in its liquid state. The wax-mastic will harden up rather quickly once it is no longer heated.

Example suppliers for the ingredients

Some items on the ingredient list can be challenging to procure. Here are some example vendors for those items Gum Mastic: [1] Gum Benzoin / Gum Myrrh: [2] [3] Ground Marble [4] Gum Olibanum / Rose Incense / Rose Oil: any Orthodox incense provider has those for example [5]


Russian Orthodox Church. The Great Book of Needs : Expanded and Supplemented. 4 vols. Vol. II, South Canaan, Pa.: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1998.