There are many kinds of healing services. This is a profoundly personal one, that, in itself, does not involve much interaction. It is the ideal introvert’s service. However, a time of food and conversation following the brief service will allow people who wish to share some of the reasons why they have come.
The worship space is set with a long table the correct height for anyone who uses a wheelchair and there are five items on it with space between them so that a person can linger. they are a bible, a loaf of bread on a paten, with the chalice upside down (the Emmaus bread), a bowl of water a red candle lit and a bowl of oil.
Leader: Men and women moved by the Holy Spirit have assured us that healing, deep and true healing, deeper and truer than cure but encompassing the sweet blessing of cure, and the long working of medicine, and the remarkable gifts of research, and the ineffable power of grace, is available to us all. We claim our tradition. Hear the words of scripture.
Individuals throughout the congregation have these scriptures written out and share them in this order: Jeremiah 17:14, Malachi 4:2, Matthew 4:23, Luke 13:12-13, 1 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Peter 2;24, Revelation 22:2b.
The lay reader concludes by reading Mark 5:25-34, the story of the woman who reaches out to touch Jesus’ garment.
Gracious God, we hear the witness of the scripture and we claim it as our own – this is our lamp, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts. We claim for ourselves and all of your children this holy healing, for we, too have come to dwell in this tradition and seal our hopes with the covenant prayer, Christ gave the disciples.
Prayer of Our Savior. Amen.
The leader repeats: “Your faith has made you well; go in peace.” and models a form of healing that remembers this woman’s incredible witness of daring to reach out and touch her Savior in order to be healed … and the many ways in which God puts our physical, emotional, spiritual healing in our own hands.
I reach out and touch God’s gracious love.
I touch the Bible and my hand feels the healing.
I touch the bread, symbol of the Body of Christ, and my hand feels the healing.
I touch the water, sign of my Baptism, and my hand feels the healing.
I touch the red fire of Pentecost, sign of the Spirit, and my hand feels the healing.
(touching the red candle, not the flame)
I touch the oil, sign of anointing through all the ages …
and I touch myself (making a cross on the back of the other hand or the forehead)
rejoicing in God’s healing love.
Congregation: Your faith has made you well; go in peace.
The line of those who wish healing forms. Each comes forward and passes by, reaching out, silently but deliberately, to touch these five symbols of God’s love and power, and crossing her or himself with oil. To each at this last station the leader responds:
Your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
(One alternative to this that emphasizes the amazing grace that those who need healing are also healers, is to have the leader replaced by the first person to seek healing. This person offers the statement of peace to the next seeker and then is replaced by him or her. The last five – or five who are willing – remain so that they can carry the symbols to anyone who is not able to come forward or to touch the symbols to the skin of anyone who cannot reach out.)
Gracious Savior, we give you thanks that you fill each who touch you with healing and hope. With joy we receive the peace that you give us and pledge to offer our healing hands to all we meet in our crowded journeys, even as you have accepted and blessed our reaching out to you. Amen
May the Creator who loves us into being –
body, soul, heart and mind,
and the Christ who loves us into grace –
forgiveness and compassion, courage and cross,
and the Spirit who loves us into blessings –
prayer and healing, hope and new words,
tenderly keep us all our days. Amen.
Fifty one years ago my father, Russell Snider, quit drinking. I dedicate this service of healing to his memory.