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Healing & Wholeness

healingThe healing ministry is for everyone; we all need healing in some way. Through the healing ministry, Jesus Christ meets us at our point of need.”

How is this ministry offered at St Mary’s?

At St Mary’s Church approximately every two months we offer ‘Laying on of Hands for Healing’ within our Sunday Morning Service. This is a chance for members of the congregation to have a prayer said for them. It is very informal and there is no need for the person coming up to say anything. It happens just after Communion but the person is not required to take Communion beforehand. They can come up for a blessing, or merely just come up for the prayer.

Sometimes people ask for prayers for others, for instance this can be family, friends or neighbours.

Many find this of great comfort and for some people they feel it is helpful to have someone to pray with. An opportunity for just a few moments to share their worries, but without mentioning what those worries are.

Perhaps this is something that appeals to you. Maybe you or someone you know is poorly and you would like to offer a prayer for you or them. It can be a nice time for reflection, and can be coupled with the lighting of a candle. After the service there is tea and coffee available and the chance to talk to others if you so wish. However there is no pressure to do anything.

Remember St Mary’s is an inclusive Church and everyone is welcome.

What can we hope for through the Ministry of healing and wholeness?

We believe that God loves us and wills the very best for us. But we also know that suffering of all kinds and ultimately death are conditions from which we cannot escape.

But God is not distant. In Jesus Christ he shared in this life’s suffering and death on the cross, and he can draw close to us in times such as these. However, his resurrection in the power of the Holy Spirit gives us hope that we might have a foretaste of his kingdom here and now and that through the Church’s ministry we shall receive his love, strength and healing touch. What form that healing will take we cannot tell.

Healing Ministry may be experienced as…..

  • complimentary to professional medical treatment
  • help to carry us through a prolonged illness or disability;
  • a recovery more rapid than expected;
  • experiencing our fear of death being driven out by God’s love;
  • a healing which is so unexpected that we immediately want to thank God.

The Church’s Healing Ministry is:

Visionary…. because it beckons us towards the future and a glimpse of the kingdom of God, and the hope of the whole of creation renewed.

Prophetic…. because it calls us to reconsider our relationships with God, each other and the world and to seek forgiveness and a new start in our lives.

Dynamic…. because Jesus Christ is with us to the end of time: when we pray for his help, he comforts, strengthens and heals us, responding to our deepest needs.

The Church’s ministry is a continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

We seek to fulfil it in the power of the same Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan. Jesus’ ministry was totally faithful and obedient to his Father. The gospel of the kingdom of God is the good news of healing which Jesus proclaimed. “Go and preach the gospel … Go and heal the sick” summarises the commission Christ gave to his Church. So Christians have always been called to have a special concern for those sick in mind, body and spirit.

The Church’s entire ministry can be described as one of healing: the healing of ourselves and of our relationships with God, with one another and with our environment.

What are the most common forms of healing ministry?

Public and private prayers: Christian worship has always included prayers of intercession, in which we pray individually and corporately, for those who are suffering. Praying in this way combines our love with God’s love and our will with his will, so as to cooperate with him in fostering his kingdom.

The laying on of hands: Actions can often speak louder than words and touch conveys a message of love and assurance as well as being a link with Christ’s apostolic command to heal the sick. Hands are usually placed gently on a person’s head, and on his or her shoulder and prayers said quietly and reverently. This form of touch can make a sick person feel less fearful or alone in their suffering.

Anointing with oil is an outward sign of the inward work of the Holy Spirit. It is customary for a priest to anoint a person with thumb or forefinger, making the sign of the cross, with a small amount of oil on the forehead and sometimes the palms of the hands.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, or Confession’, is increasingly seen as an act of reconciliation which begins with God calling us back to himself. The Anglican tradition values the use of a general confession act in the liturgy and makes provision for private confession to a priest. Private confession may be made in a formal or less formal setting, and may include spiritual advice and counsel as well as absolution.