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Service of the Word for Healing

 

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

I have found occasions in my ministry when offering a regular monthly healing service has been very important to the life of a community of faith.  I put together the following service using the form in the Occasional Services 1982 (Augsburg Fortress) and used it at 4 pm on the fourth Saturday of each month for over a year in one parish.  It was informal enough that I called out the hymns at each service, and otherwise used this same bulletin form for every service.   See also a version of this service for St. Luke's Day (Oct. 18).

 

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Entrance Hymn       The people stand to sing

 

Opening Dialog:

P: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

C: And his mercy endures forever.

 

P: They cried to the Lord in their trouble,

C: And he delivered them from their distress.

 

P: He sent forth his Word and healed them,

C: And saved them from the grave.

 

P: The Lord is righteous in all his ways,

C: And loving in all his works.

 

P: The Lord upholds all who fall;

C: He lifts up those who are bowed down.

 

P: The Lord sustains them on their sickbed.

C: And ministers to them in their illness.

 

P: The Lord is my strength and my song,

C: And he has become my salvation.

 

P: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

C: And his mercy endures forever.

 

P: God has made us his people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

C: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
        I believe in Jesus Christ, Godís only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
        I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
 

Hymn of Praise   "From All That Dwell Below"

 

Prayer of the Day:

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.

 

P: Let us pray....

C: (After the prayer) Amen

The people are seated.

 

First Lesson

Psalm (spoken by all in unison)

Second Lesson

Hymn  "God's Word Is Our Great Heritage"

Silence for meditation

 

Sermon

Hymn of the Day     The people stand to sing

 

Bidding Prayers:

P: Let us pray for all who suffer.

C: Merciful Lord, you sent your Son to be our peace. Help all who suffer pain or grief to find in him strength and peace, so that their trust in your promises may be renewed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for recovery from sickness.

C: O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully hear our prayers and grant to your servants the help of your power, that their sickness may be turned into health and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for those in affliction.

C: Almighty and everlasting God, comfort of the sad and strength to those who suffer: Let the prayers of your children who are in any trouble rise to you. To everyone in distress grant mercy, grant relief, grant refreshment; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for those who minister in healing.

C: Almighty God, source of human knowledge and skill: Guide physicians and nurses and all those you have called to practice the arts of healing. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that, by their ministries, the health of all people may be promoted and your creation may be glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for the ministry of family and friends.

C: Loving God, our creator and redeemer: Give strength and gentleness, patience and faithfulness to family members and friends. Let their hope be in you, and by their ministry of love let your love be known; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for those who desire our prayers.

C: Blessed Lord, we ask your loving care and protection for those who are sick in body, mind, or spirit and who desire our prayers. Take from them all fears and help them put their trust in you, that they may feel your strong arms around them. Touch them with your renewing love, that they may know wholeness in you and glorify your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Let us pray for those making decisions.

C: O Lord our God, send your Holy Spirit to guide us, that we may make our decisions with love, mercy, and reverence for your gift of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

P: Praise to you, almighty God and Father. You sent your Son to live among us and to bring us salvation.

C: Blessed be God.

 

P: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, incomparable son of the Father. You humbled yourself to share in our humanity, and you came to heal all our illnesses.

C: Blessed be God.

 

P: Praise to you, Holy Spirit, our defender and consoler. You heal our sickness with your mighty and life-giving power.

C: Blessed be God.

 

P: Holy and blessed Trinity, sustain your servants who are gathered here with your presence; drive away their sickness of body and spirit; and give them that victory of life and peace which will enable them to serve you now and evermore.

C: Amen      The people are seated

 

Laying of Hands and Anointing

Those who wish to receive laying of hands and anointing may come to the altar one at a time, waiting in the aisles until the person ahead is anointed. As you step forward, give your first name to the minister so that it may be included in prayer. You may kneel or stand for the anointing.

 

P: Father in heaven, for Jesus' sake, send your Holy Spirit upon your servant, ________________; drive away all sickness of body and spirit; make whole that which is broken; deliver him/her from the power of evil; and preserve him/her in true faith, to share in the power of Christ's resurrection and to serve you with all the saints now and evermore.

R: Amen

After all have returned to their places, the people stand for the closing rite.

 

Closing Rite:

P: The almighty Lord -- a strong tower to all who put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth bow and whom they obey -- be now and evermore your defense, and make you know and feel that the only name under heaven given for health and salvation is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

C: Amen

 

P: Let us pray. Merciful Lord God, constant source of all healing, we give you thanks for all your gifts of strength and life, and above all we thank you for the gift of your Son, through whom we have health and salvation. As we wait for that day when there will be no more pain, help us by your Holy Spirit to be assured of your power in our lives and to trust in your eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C: Amen

 

P: Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray:

C: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen

 

Blessing:

P: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

C: Amen

 

Closing Hymn  "Lord, Dismiss Us," stanza 1

 

Pastor will be available to anyone who wishes to talk or make an appointment after the service. Please make your desire known when you greet him.

 

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Acknowledgments:  "The Service of the Word for Healing" is reprinted from Occasional Services, copyright 1982, by permission.