THE CHURCH'S MINISTRY OF HEALING
The ministry of anointing is also included in the Wednesday 10.30 a.m. Eucharist on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
In his own ministry, Jesus gave high priority to healing the sick. The same concern has always found expression in the ministry of the Church through the Eucharist, the prayers for the sick, and the personal love and care offered to sufferers by individual Christians. This ministry has continued over the centuries at St Botolph's, Longthorpe, as in other churches.
Among other ways in which the Church exercises this ministry are anointing with oil, and the laying on of hands. These are done by a priest or others who are authorized for this particular ministry. They are not 'healers'. They represent the whole Body of Christ, his Church, surrounding you with love and prayer at that moment. Any of us may receive this ministry, for ourselves or on behalf of others, when we believe there is need of the healing power of the Spirit of God.
This ministry is in no sense offered as an alternative to medical care. All healing comes from God, whether brought about by the skill and care of doctors and nurses, through prayer, through sacraments, or through healing words or a healing touch. It is a ministry through which the risen Christ, in the Church, brings his healing to the whole person, body, mind and spirit. Recovery from disease is one aspect of this; another is the possibility of being enabled by God to accept illness or disability. Beyond our quest for individual healing there is a need for healing in human society, scarred as it is by war, injustice and oppression.
The Church's ministry of healing is therefore also one of reconciliation and forgiveness. A confession of sins, of our lack of wholeness, is made before the laying on of hands. Our penitence and God's forgiveness are the necessary condition for recovering wholeness of body, mind and spirit and for healing the bro ken relationships between ourselves and God, and between one another.