The whole of the church's ministry can be described as one of healing - the healing of our relationships with God, with one another and with our environment and In every act of worship, we celebrate the grace of God who desires wholeness of body, mind and spirit for all people.
Prayers of Intercession
Christian worship has always included prayers of intercession. Prayers in which we pray, individually and corporately, for those who are suffering. This bringing of others before God in our hearts combines our love with God's love and our will with his will, to enable our common task of building his kingdom.
In the breaking of bread and sharing of wine God shares in our lives. He feeds us as He meets us and transforms our lives through that encounter. As we meet Him we are changed as His generous love fills us. At His command we gather around His table to be assured of His love for us as He meets us there.
The Laying on of Hands
As well as being a link with Christ's command to heal the sick. The Laying on of Hands allows all those messages of love and assurance which can be conveyed through touch. Hands are placed gently either on the head or shoulders, and quiet and reverent prayer is said.
Outward anointing with Holy Oil has long been associated with prayer for inward anointing with the Holy Spirit. The sign of the cross is made in oil on the forehead and sometimes the palm of the hands. This is often accompanied with the Laying on of Hands.
Confession and Absolution
God's calling of us all back to himself has traditionally been expressed through our confession of sin. The Anglican tradition values the use of general confession by the gathered church as part of the liturgy, and makes provision for Private Confession to a priest. Private Confession may include spiritual advice and counsel as well as absolution.
Prayer the time of death
Prayer at the time of death often known as the last rites is not a separate ministry, rather it gathers together other expressions of the church's healing ministry, it can include, confession and absolution, the laying on of hands and anointing and receiving Holy Communion. Although the priest is no longer called to the bedside of those who are dying as often as they might have been in the past, this is an important ministry both for those whose lives are drawing to a close and to family and friends and those who watch with them. The priest will always come as soon as possible when asked.
The ministry of the Laying on of Hands with prayer for healing is available after the Sunday Parish Eucharist on the last Sunday of each month. Fr David is always willing to pray for and with individuals - please just ask.
Friendship, forgiveness, listening, acceptance and affirmation can also have a healing grace. So in different ways we are all able to take a part in the Church's healing ministry, looking forward in faith to the kind of healing God wills for those for whom we are praying.
The clergy are very happy to talk to individuals about, and to offer, any of the above forms of the ministry of healing by arrangement.
God is present, active and real everywhere and at all times. In the healing ministry we seek to focus the power of his love on those who bring their needs to him. The healing ministry is for all and we all need healing in some way. Every one of us is spirit, mind and body and healing affects the whole person. It may bring deep peace to the spirit, it may bring ease to the mind, the gradual release of the negative feelings, the baggage we carry with us, it may bring relief or care to physical illness.
Many have experienced wonderful healing of bodily ailments. Yet experience shows that we cannot expect every disease to be completely cured. We are mortal and subject to change, ageing and ultimately death.
The healing power of God's love is with us. Miracles of change do happen. How and when those miracles occur and what they will be we leave to God and he is a God of surprises.
Father, I pray for those who are sick in body, mind or spirit. (Especially for......). Bring them your peace in their pain, your strength in their weakness and your comfort in their sadness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you would like to find out more about the work of our parish or our services, please contact our Parish Priest - Fr David Gill...
Tel: 01594 542952
Address: Fr David Gill, The Rectory, The Stenders, Mitcheldean, Glos. Gl17 0HX
The Church of St. Michael & All Angels
High Street, Mitcheldean,
Gloucestershire, GL17 0HU.
The Church of St. Michael
Gloucestershire, GL17 0SQ.
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