A Service of Healing

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1 A Service of Healing St. Paul s Episcopal Church Key West, Florida

2 We welcome you to this special worship time, a service of prayer and healing and wholeness. This service is for healing of every kind, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional. As Christians, we believe God is the source of wholeness in our lives. Therefore, it is appropriate for us to conduct prayers for wholeness and healing. Some of us need healing from broken relationships; some of us need healing from psychological distress; some of us need the gift of physical healing. None of us are exempt from needing God s healing presence in our lives. A service of prayer for healing and wholeness is not a new activity for the Church. Healing services are an ancient and accepted practice. Indeed, it is a normative practice of the Church. Numerous prayers for healing are as old as the Bible itself. The disciples, following Jesus example, anointed the sick and prayed for healing (Mark 6:7, 12 13). Scripture invites us and encourages us to pray for healing. The letter of St. James, for example, states that if anyone is sick, call the elders and pray for that person and anoint that person with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14). In Biblical times, oil, specifically olive oil for its therapeutic properties, was a symbol of God s healing. As Christians, we believe Jesus is the one true physician of our souls and bodies. We look to his healing strength that reaches out to every level of our being. In our worship every Sunday morning we pray for healing. We pray for those who are ill and hospitalized. We pray for God s care and comfort, but we also pray for God s healing. Today we gather in a special service in which we shall join in the early Church s practice of the Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Oil, participating in a powerful way with the healing, wholenessbestowing Spirit of God at work in our lives. The Spirit of the LORD us upon me, because the LORD God has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted. Isaiah 61:1 2

3 Litany of Healing The Celebrant or other Leader of the Prayers introduces the Litany with this bidding Let us name before God those for whom we offer our prayers. The People audibly name those for whom they are interceding. A Person appointed then leads the Litany God the Father, your will for all people is health and salvation. We praise you and thank you, O Lord. God the Son, you came that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly. We praise you and thank you, O Lord. God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies the temple of your presence. We praise you and thank you, O Lord. Holy Trinity, one God, in you we live and move and have our being. We praise you and thank you, O Lord. Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured, or disabled, that they may be made whole; Grant to all who seek your guidance, and to all who are lonely, anxious, or despondent, a knowledge of your will and an awareness of your presence; Mend broken relationships, and restore those in emotional distress to soundness of mind and serenity of spirit; 3

4 Bless physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the suffering, granting them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience; Grant to the dying peace and a holy death, and uphold by the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit those who are bereaved; Restore to wholeness whatever is broken by human sin, in our lives, in our nation, and in the world; You are the Lord who does wonders: You have declared your power among the peoples. With you, O Lord, is the well of life: And in your light we see light. Hear us, O Lord of life: Heal us, and make us whole. Let us pray. A period of silence follows after which the Celebrant concludes the Prayers with one of the following or some other suitable Collect: Almighty God, giver of life and health: Send your blessing on all who are sick, and upon those who minister to them, that all weakness may be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. or this Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 4

5 or this O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. A Confession of Sin follows, if it has not been said at the beginning of the service. The following may be used with the Celebrant first saying Let us confess our sins to God. A period of silence may be kept. The Celebrant and the People then say God of all mercy, We confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen. The Bishop when present, or the Priest stands and says Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ; strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen. 5

6 The Celebrant now invites those who wish to receive the laying on of hands (and anointing) to come forward. About the Healing Rite You are welcome to come forward and receive the Laying on of Hands, Anointing with Oil, and a prayer in the name of Christ if you wish to do so for any reason at all. Perhaps you have been ill in some way and have a need for physical healing. Perhaps you are feeling anxious or depressed and have a need for mental healing. Perhaps some temptation is hard to cope with and you are conscious of the need for spiritual healing and strength. Or, if you wish, you may come forward just as an act of commitment, a prayer for spiritual deepening, a symbol of your availability to our Lord; or perhaps you want to come forward simply because the touch of Christ is desirable for its own sake, quite apart from any by-products it may bring. Whatever your reasons for coming forward, you are welcome. Remember the words of Jesus to all who truly turn to him, Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) The following anthem is sung or said Savior of the world, by your cross and precious blood you have redeemed us; Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech you, O Lord. The Celebrant says the following blessing over those who have come forward The Almighty Lord, who is a strong tower to all who put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth bow and obey: Be now and evermore your defense, and make you know and feel that the only Name under heaven given for health and salvation is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 6

7 The Celebrant then lays hands on each person (and, having dipped a thumb in the oil of the sick, makes the sign of the cross on their foreheads), and says one of the following: N., I lay my hands upon you [and anoint you with oil] in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, beseeching our Lord Jesus Christ to sustain you with his presence, to drive away all sickness of body and spirit, and to give you that victory of life and peace which will enable you to serve him both now and evermore. Amen. or this N., 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. Amen. or this N., I lay my hands upon you [and anoint you with oil] in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. or prayer may be offered for each person individually according to that person s need, with laying on of hands (and anointing). Lay persons with a gift of healing may join the celebrant in the laying on of hands. The service continues with the exchange of the Peace. If there is not to be a Communion, the service concludes with the Lord s Prayer and the prayer and blessing given below. If the Eucharist is to be celebrated, the Liturgy continues with the Offertory. In place of the usual post communion prayer (or, if there has not been a Communion, after the Lord s Prayer), the following prayer is said 7

8 Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Celebrant pronounces this blessing May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. 8

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