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  Healing Ministry  
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Healing Ministry


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The Ministry of Healing within the Parish

In recent years the healing ministry of the Church has come to the fore within the mainstream of Christian ministry and worship. In part this is the result of a fresh recognition of the personal and corporate need of spiritual healing and wholeness to be found among us.

There can be little doubt about the significance that Christ attached to his healing ministry. This was well understood in the early Church. Approximately one third of all the verses within the Gospels are related to the subject. He is frequently depicted as responding to the outward signs of faith, meeting people in their need, healing them and so transforming their lives.

The example and intention for us is clear. Christ wants only our good, wants us to be well, and to know that true health - be it physical, spiritual or emotional - is bound up in him. We are to follow where Christ has already led.

At St Matthew’s, our liturgical ministry to and for the sick is sacramentally centred in the following ways:

Healing Mass

This takes place on the first Monday of the month at 7.30pm, other observances permitting. The service is normally held in the Lady Chapel and access is via the North Door facing Collingwood Road.

The Mass is simply rendered, reflective in tone, and includes a wide range of material in recognition of the diversity of our personal and corporate need of the healing ministry Christ offers to his Church. The service concludes with prayers of intercessions offered before the Blessed Sacrament. These are often led by members of our Pastoral Team and typically follow the pattern outlined below:

the names of those on our prayer board

those with whom we are in pastoral contact

local hospitals, the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, day care facilities, residential and nursing
homes etc.

the ministry of the Pastoral Team

the medical profession and carers

our own need of healing, restoration and wholeness

silence, and an opportunity for others to pray aloud

Laying on of Hands and Sacrament of Anointing

The Laying on of Hands and Sacrament of Anointing are offered as an integral part of our Sunday morning worship. These healing ministries take place at 9.00am and 10.15am on the second Sunday of the month in the Lady Chapel immediately following Holy Communion in the nave.

A brief description – Having received Holy Communion or a blessing at the nave communion rail you are invited to make your way to the Lady Chapel. A priest, sometimes assisted by a lay member of the Pastoral Team, lays his hands on the head of each person accompanied by prayer. The individual may request the priest to pray for a particular matter or ‘intention’.

At the Laying on of Hands

In the name of God and trusting in his might alone,
receive Christ’s healing touch to make you whole.

May Christ bring you wholeness
of body, mind and spirit,
deliver you from every evil,
and give you his peace.

At the Sacrament of Anointing

On the forehead:

Through this holy anointing
may the Lord in his love and mercy
help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

On the palm of the each hand:
May the Lord who frees you from sin
save you and raise you up.

Please note that both the Laying on of Hands and Anointing may be administered at other times by prior arrangement with the clergy.

Holy Communion to the Sick and Housebound

Our ministry to those who, for reasons of sickness or infirmity may receive Holy Communion in hospital or at home, is well developed. A group of Eucharistic Assistants (EAs), who have been licensed by the Bishop to administer the Sacrament in church, are also authorised to take the Sacrament out into the wider community to those unable to get to church. This ministry is a vital part of the pastoral care we offer to our extended parish family. The Eucharistic Assistant is, therefore, sent out or commissioned in the name of the worshipping community with the following words:



N [and N], it is your ministry and privilege
to take the Blessed Sacrament from this Eucharist
to the sick and housebound of our community.
Take them our greetings;
assure them of our prayers
as members with us of the Body of Christ.

I / We will do this in the grace of God.

The Eucharistic Assistant conducts a service at the home or hospital at which Holy Communion is to be distributed. The service includes these important words which mirror the words used in church. They are intended to make clear to each recipient that by extension they remain an integral and much valued part of the whole worshipping community:


Our Christian brothers and sisters at St Matthew’s
send you their greetings,
and offer you the assurance of their prayers
as members together of the Body of Christ.



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