Service of Healing and Prayer
Whether you are a visitor or a parishioner—you are welcomed to the Healing Service at Holy Cross. This peaceful service provides spiritual nourishment. The major emphasis is healing of mind, body, and spirit through laying on of hands, prayers for healing, and anointing with holy oil. Prayer will be offered for those in need of healing, whether for yourself or for someone you love.
The laying on of hands for healing has been a part of the ministry of the church since its earliest days. Healing was an integral part of Jesus’ ministry but there are many earlier references to instances of healing in the Old Testament, for example in the Psalms (Psalm 6) and in I Samuel (1:1-2:10).
Creation, Illness, and Death
- God’s creation is good, and God desires life and health for all human beings (Sirach 34:20). Creation is, however, finite, which means that pain and mortality are given realities of creation from the beginning.
Healing as God’s Work
- Healing is a gift of God … God’s work of healing or blessing and God’s work of saving or redeeming, while always related, are also sometimes properly distinguished. … Healing comes as a part of the renewal of the whole person that occurs through the power and in the presence of God (I Thess. 5:23).
- Biblically, the cure of specific symptoms and the healing of the person are not necessarily identical. Therefore, it is possible to be cured, but not “healed” (in other words, made well or whole—see Luke 17:17-19) … just as it is possible to be “well” in the midst of suffering (see Hab 3:17-19; Rom 5:1-5)
- There is no unique method through which God heals. The fundamental issue is who heals (God), rather than how healing occurs … Divine healing often occurs through the normal created order … through physicians and medications (Sir 38:1-14)—though in the Bible this created order is never autonomous; it, too, is in relationship with God and an avenue of God’s healing activity.
Healing and the Community of Faith
- There is a relationship between faith and healing, although that relationship is not calculable or predictable. In the Bible, healing comes as the result of faith (Mark 5:34), healing produces faith (Mark 1:27; Acts 9:42), and the faith of the family (Mark 9:23-24) or the community (Mark 2:5; James 5:15) is instrumental in the healing of one of its members.
As is indicated in the Book of Common Prayer (Ministration to the Sick, pp. 453-461), in the anointing, the officiant beseeches “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.”