BENEDICTION AND HEALING

At Broughton Church, the laying-on-of-hands for healing has been practised on a regular monthly basis for several decades.  The current form of the service (after Evensong) was established by the late Fr Donald Bird.  It usually takes place on the third Sunday of every month, and people come forward for the laying-on-of-hands (in silence), as often for other people as for themselves.  The form of the service is as follows:

As the sacrament is laid on the altar, the following is sung:

O Saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below,
Our foes press hard on every side;
Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.

All praise and thanks to thee ascend,
For evermore blest One in Three;
O grant us life that shall not end,
In our true native land with thee.

Prayers are offered, especially for those who are sick.

Those who wish now come forward for the laying on of hands – for themselves or on behalf of someone else who is sick or in need.  This takes place at the altar rails, in silence.

After which the following is sung:

Therefore we before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere;
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give and blessing,
To the Father and the Son;
Honour, might and praise addressing
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing
Who, from both, with both is one.

 The minister rises and offers the following prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, who in a wonderful sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion:  grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves and show forth within our lives the fruit of our redemption, who livest and reignest, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   Amen

 The minister blesses the people, making the sign of the Cross with the Blessed Sacrament, in silence.

 PSALM 117
Antiphon  Let us adore for ever the most holy Sacrament.
O praise the Lord, all ye heathen.
Praise him, all ye nations.
For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us:  
And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be;  world without end.  Amen
Antiphon  Let us adore for ever the most holy Sacrament.

 As the Blessed Sacrament is being replaced, the following verse is sung or said:
Blessed and praised be Jesus Christ, in the most holy sacrament.  Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.

 Ever mindful of Article XXV of the 39 Articles, it is important to prepare oneself for devotion before the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood.  Benediction is not to be taken lightly, but is given that we might draw nearer to Our Saviour and his death for us.  It is the context of prayer and attention within which we come to Him for his healing, of body, mind or spirit. The laying on of hands mediates the power of Christ, present in the Sacrament and in his Church.