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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

The Sacrament of Anointing

The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ. The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehead and hands of the person with blessed oil, with the priest saying, "I lay my hands upon you 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."

Laying hands on the sick was a common practice in the Early Church. Jesus often laid hands on people before healing them (Mark 6:5; Luke 4:40; 13:13). Paul laid hands on a sick person and he was healed (Acts 28:8). Jesus said concerning His followers, “They will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:18).

Anointing with oil for many different purposes was commonly practiced throughout the Scriptures. The New Testament mentions it specifically in connection with praying for the sick. On one occasion Jesus sent out the twelve disciples on a mission; they “anointed many sick people with oil and healed them” (Mark 6:13). In a congregational situation, the usual procedure is for a sick Christian to call for the elders of the church to pray over him and to anoint him with oil (James 5:14-16).

In biblical times oil was commonly used as a healing agent (Luke 10:34). But when used by the early Christians for anointing purposes it was merely a symbolic reminder to God’s healing power.

We at Grace anoint and pray for the sick as well. If you would like one of our clergy members to come for anointing and prayer, please call our office to set a time.

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