Holy Unction

Tonight in the Eastern Orthodox Church we celebrate the Mystery of Holy Unction.

“The express purpose of the Sacrament of Holy Unction is healing and forgiveness. Since it is not always the will of God that there should be physical healing, the prayer of Christ that God’s will be done always remains as the proper context of the Sacrament. In addition, it is the clear intention of the Sacrament that through the anointing of the sick body the sufferings of the person should be sanctified and united to the sufferings of Christ. In this way, the wounds of the flesh are consecrated, and strength is given that the suffering of the diseased person may not be unto the death of his soul, but for eternal salvation in the resurrection and life of the Kingdom of God”.

I really look forward to this particular service each year. Something beautiful always happens in me. It’s hard to explain entirely. The candles are lit. Lights are turned down low. There is a calm, a sweet peace in the air. The smell of incense floods my senses. There is an expectation in my soul to be healed.

unction_05photo by John Thomas

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