Anointing of the Sick
"Pain & suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus - a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you."
- Mother Teresa
Often celebrated in conjunction with the Sophia Service, and Benediction, the Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament offered for the healing of mind, body, soul, and spirit. In the anointing, we invoke the help of the Archangel Raphael, whose name means: "It is God who heals." One does not need to be gravely ill to receive the benefits of this Sacrament.
Holy Unction or Healing is one of the three repeatable Sacraments in the Universal Church. In healing, the Church follows the procedure prescribed by the Apostle James: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him. And if he has sinned, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15).
James here speaks of a priestly anointing with oil that leads to the physical and spiritual healing of a person, through the prayer of faith. This sacred action or Holy Unction (Gr. efchelaion, meaning prayer oil). The Holy Unction is given to all who are sick and not restricted to the dying. The dying are usually provided as a preparation for death, Holy Communion.
The belief that the Anointing of the Sick should be received only in the moments before death is a misconception. The Sacrament is often received:
Before surgery, or a dangerous medical procedure.
During a long-term or terminal illness.
Experiencing health issues related to old age.
The Holy Unction is a prayer of healing, not only for our physical healing, but also for spiritual health, and for the strength, peace, and courage to bear the burden of illness.
Holy Unction begins with the chanting of hymns known as 'troparia,' and the priest pleas:
"O Lord Almighty, Healer of our souls and bodies, who puts down and raises, who chastises and also heals, visit now in Your mercy our brother or sister, (Name), who is ill. Stretch forth Your arm that is full of healing and health, and raise (Name) up from this bed and cure this illness. Put away the spirit of disease and every malady and pain and fever".
During the Sacrament, the grace of God is entreated upon a person to heal their infirmities of body and soul while the body is anointed with oil. A gathering of priests does it, ideally seven in number, but can be performed by a lesser amount or even by a single priest. The efficacy of the Sacrament depends upon the promise and appointment of God; however, it benefits only those who receive it with a 'prayer of faith' and with due preparation and disposition of mind. The final prayer is for the remission of sins:
"And if (Name) has committed sins and transgressions, grant remission and forgiveness because You love mankind.
We are asked to see our sufferings as a way of being united with the sufferings of Christ. As Orthodox Catholics, we pray, neither commanding God to heal nor doubting His ability to heal, but pleading for His promised mercy upon all who are ill.
Nursing Home and Hospice Services
Bringing the mercy and compassion of the Divine, the Ministry for the Sick and Homebound is an outreach program of visitation for those who are ill or confined at home and in healthcare facilities in any stage of illness, whether temporary, chronic, or acute. We are happy to visit hospitals, assisted living and rehab facilities, and private residences.
We come as a friend offering comfort, support, and a connection to the Catholic family. We provide a listening ear, spiritual presence, and reflection. Meets the condition of The Roman Rite's Canon Law # 932 §1. Meets the condition of The Orthodox Law # 286 §7.
To schedule a visit, please contact the parish office, Father Justinus (Jay) or Deacon John.
"Archangel Raphael frequently answers prayers by whispering suggestions that you hear as thoughts, feelings, dreams, and visions. When you get a strong hunch to take positive action, know that this is an answered prayer. Follow your hunches and they’ll lead you to renewed peace." ~ Doreen Virtue
the author of "The Healing Miracles of Archangel Raphael"