The Healing Rite
One of the ways the Church carries on Jesus’ important ministry of healing and bringing new life, is through the age-old sacramental rite of the Laying on of Hands and Anointing.
At the Chapel of the Cross prayers for healing are offered on Sundays:
- following the early morning service in the chapel
- at the baptismal font in the church during communion at the regular morning Eucharists
- in the chapel at the communion rail shortly before the evening service
In the chapel, those desiring healing prayers approach the altar rail and kneel. In the church, those desiring healing prayers approach the priest at the baptismal font anytime during communion. You may remain silent or you may briefly say for whom prayers are desired (you may participate in this rite on behalf of another).
In a brief sacramental encounter, the priest, utilizing ancient gestures of the Church, says to the person words such as, “I lay my hands upon you and anoint you with oil in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill you with his grace, that you may know the healing power of his love.” Any persons of any age seeking healing of spirit, mind, and body can avail themselves of this sacrament.
The full service of healing is offered on the first Thursday evening of each month at the weekly 5:15 Eucharist in the chapel. The full service, as described in the Book of Occasional Services, includes a litany of healing, special Collects, and the laying on of hands. Following the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, the Peace is exchanged and the liturgy continues with the Offertory and Holy Eucharist.
Prayers for the sick are also found on pages 458-461 in the Book of Common Prayer. They include prayers for adults and children, for doctors and nurses, for before an operation, and at the beginning of a recovery. The prayers for use by a sick person, on page 461, are the only prayers in the BCP in the first person.