GCI: Anointing the Sick

Anointing of the sick may take place wherever it is needed: at home, in the hospital, or before or after the worship service.

Depending on the wishes of the person being anointed, an anointing ceremony may involve only one officiant, or it might include several members of the congregation. Where members of the opposite sex are involved, it is mandatory that at least three people be present.

A brief prayer might precede the anointing, thanking God for his grace and love and for hearing the prayers of his people in their need.

The officiant should then lay his or her hands on the sick person’s head or shoulders, or simply hold the person’s hand, and pray for healing.

The sick person may then be anointed with oil (preferably olive oil) by dipping a finger or thumb in the oil and applying it to the person’s forehead while saying words to the effect of: “We anoint you for healing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Sample prayer:

Our Father, we pray on behalf of [name of sick person] that you will in your mercy and power do what is right and good in his/her life. In the bond of the Holy Spirit, who ministers to us your love, and in union and communion with Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, we pray as one that [name of person being anointed] would be made whole now, as we know that he/she will be made whole in the life to come. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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