Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Liturgy for Mid-Week Healing Service on July 3 (Vigil of Independence Day)

A Public Service of Healing with Anointing and the Holy Eucharist

St. John’s Episcopal Church Ocean Springs, Mississippi

A Brief Statement Regarding the History and Theology of Anointing

The liturgical ceremony of anointing with oil is known as Unction.  Usually administered by a bishop or priest, it is part of the baptismal, confirmation, and ordination rites within both the Western and Eastern Church.  The word is most commonly applied, however, to the Sacrament of Unction (or Anointing) of the Sick.Anointing with oil as a sign of dedicating people and things to God is an ancient practice.  The Hebrew Scriptures speak of the practice several times and in the Christian Scriptures there are references to the apostles healing with oil.  However, the key factor in the use of unction in the liturgy comes from the figure of Jesus as the Messiah, which literally means, “the Anointed One.”  Anointed through the incarnation and at baptism, the Spirit was at work in Jesus’ messianic ministry and saving work of the cross.  After his death and resurrection he becomes the source of the Spirit sent upon the Church.  This coming of the Holy Spirit to the individual Christian is symbolized in the liturgy both by the laying on of hands and by unction.  It conveys the Spirit of Christ who is at once the source of the Spirit and the exemplar of a Christian life.The use of unction for the healing of the sick can be found in Christian writings as early as the Third Century.  By the Tenth Century, the anointing of the sick had become entangled with penitential rite and the removal of sin, and unction of the sick was usually delayed until danger of death was imminent, hence the titles Extreme Unction or Last Rites.  Thanks to historical research, the liturgical sacrament of unction has been once again separated from the death bed.  Anointing is now seen as a sacrament seeking strength for the whole person in faith, in trust in God, and for restoration of health; not merely physical health, but emotional, relational, and societal was well.In the first English Book of Common Prayer (1549) a form of unction was included in the order for the Visitation of the Sick.  It contained prayers for healing of body and mind, forgiveness, and spiritual strengthening.  Beginning in 1552 and continuing through several later versions of the Prayer Book, provisions for unction were omitted.  Modern editions of Anglican Prayer Books be have re-instituted a liturgical form of unction.  In the 1928 American Prayer Book, sacramental unction was restored and has been kept in the latest revision of 1979 as part of the Ministration to the Sick, page 455.

A Public Service of Healing with Anointing and the Holy Eucharist

Celebrant Grace and peace be with you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us pray.
O God of peace, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Lessons

First Reading Deuteronomy 10:17-21

All sit.
The LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes.
The word of the Lord 
Thanks be to God


Remain seated. Psalm is said in unison.

Psalm 145:1-9

1  I will exalt you, O God my King, * 
and bless your Name for ever and ever. 
2  Every day will I bless you *
and praise your Name for ever and ever. 
3  Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; *
there is no end to his greatness. 
4  One generation shall praise your works to another *
and shall declare your power. 
5  I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
and all your marvelous works. 
6 They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
and I will tell of your greatness.
7 They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
they shall sing of your righteous
8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.
9 The Lord is loving to everyone * 
and his compassion is over all his works.

Second Reading Hebrews 11:8-16

All remain seated for the reading of the second lesson.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Holy Gospel Matthew 5:43-48

All stand.
Deacon The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Christ
Homily The Rev. Charles Hawkins

Thanksgivings for National Life

All stand or kneel for prayer.  The Intercessor begins,
Almighty God, giver of all good things:We thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this land.  They restore us, though we often destroy them.
Heal us. 

We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They make us rich, though we often exploit them.
Forgive us.

We thank you for the men and women who have made this country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall short of them.
Inspire us.

We thank you for the torch of liberty which has been lit in this land. It has drawn people from every nation, though we have often hidden from its light.
Enlighten us.

We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich variety. It sustains our life, though we have been faithless again and again.
Renew us.

Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun.  Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice, and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when all our people, with many voices in one united chorus, will glorify your holy Name. Amen.

Collect for Heroic Service

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for our Country

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany of Healing

The Celebrant introduces the Litany with this bidding
Let us name before God those for whom we offer our prayers.
All stand and the People audibly name those for whom they are interceding. A Person appointed then leads the Litany, the People responding.
God the Father, your will for all people is health and salvation; 
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.
God the Son, you came that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.
God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies the temple of your presence;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.
Holy Trinity, one God, in you we live and move and have our being;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.
Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured, or disabled, that they may be made whole;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Grant to all who seek your guidance, and to all who are lonely, anxious, or despondent, a knowledge of your will and an awareness of your presence;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Mend broken relationships, and restore those in emotional distress to soundness of mind and serenity of spirit;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Bless physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the suffering, granting them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Grant to the dying peace and a holy death, and uphold by the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit those who are bereaved;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Restore to wholeness whatever is broken by human sin, in our lives, in our nation, and in the world;
Hear us, O Lord of life.
You are the Lord who does wonders:
You have declared your power among the peoples.
With you, O Lord, is the well of life:
And in your light we see light.
Hear us, O Lord of life:
Heal us, and make us whole.
Let us pray.
All kneel.  A period of silence follows.
The Celebrant concludes the Prayers with the following Collect.
Almighty God, giver of life and health: Send your blessing on all who are sick, and upon those who minister to them, that all weakness may be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
The Deacon or Celebrant says
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Silence may be kept. Minister and People
Most merciful God,   we confess that we have sinned against you   in thought, word, and deed,   by what we have done,   and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart;   we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,   have mercy on us and forgive us;   that we may delight in your will,   and walk in your ways,   to the glory of your Name. Amen.
The Bishop when present, or the Celebrant, stands and says
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
The service continues with the exchange of the Peace.

The Peace

All stand. The Celebrant says to the people
The peace of the Lord be always with you. 
People And also with you.
Then the Ministers and People may greet one another in the name of the Lord.

The Holy Communion

The altar is prepared for The Holy Communion.

The Great Thanksgiving

The people remain standing. The Celebrant faces them and says
The Lord be with you. 
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts. 
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 
People It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
Here a Proper Preface is sung or said on all Sundays, and on other occasions as appointed.
For with your co-eternal Son and Holy Spirit, you are one God, one Lord, in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Being; and we celebrate the one and equal glory of you, O Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:
Celebrant and People
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The people stand or kneel. Then the Celebrant continues
Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.
He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.
At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it or lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Celebrant and People
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
The Celebrant continues
We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.
Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.
All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
People and Celebrant
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those  who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread.
A period of silence is kept.
Then may be said
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation
The Gifts of God for the People of God.
and may add Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

Communion and Anointing with Oil

The ministers receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately deliver it to the people. The Bread and the Cup are given to the communicants with these words
The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven. [Amen.] The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation. [Amen.]
Those who wish to receive the laying on of hands and anointing with oil come forward and kneel at the altar rail.
The Celebrant lays hands on each person (and, having dipped a thumb in the oil of the sick, makes the sign of the cross on their foreheads), and says the following
[N.,] I lay my hands upon you and anoint you with oil in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Postcommunion Prayer

After Communion, the Celebrant says
Let us pray.
Celebrant and People
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Celebrant pronounces this blessing
May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
A Deacon, or the Celebrant, dismisses the people. 
Deacon Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. 
People Thanks be to God.

*A Note on Today’s Liturgy

Proper Psalms, Lessons, and Prayers were first appointed for this national observance in the Proposed Prayer Book of 1786. They were deleted, however, by the General Convention of 1789, primarily as a result of the intervention of Bishop William White. Though himself a supporter of the American Revolution, he felt that the required observance was inappropriate, since the majority of the Church’s clergy had, in fact, been loyal to the British crown.
Writing about the Convention which had called for the observance of the day throughout “this Church, on the fourth of July, for ever,” White said, “The members of the convention seem to have thought themselves so established in their station of ecclesiastical legislators, that they might expect of the many clergy who had been averse to the American revolution the adoption of this service; although, by the use of it, they must make an implied acknowledgment of their error, in an address to Almighty God. . . . The greater stress is laid on this matter because of the notorious fact, that the majority of the clergy could not have used the service, without subjecting themselves to ridicule and censure. For the author’s part, having no hindrance of this sort, he contented himself with having opposed the measure, and kept the day from respect to the requisition of the convention; but could never hear of its being kept, in above two or three places beside Philadelphia.”
It was not until the revision of 1928 that provision was again made for the liturgical observance of the day.
Today’s liturgy is a “vigil” service for the observance of Independence Day.

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