Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This past week at church, we sang a hymn that I believe has made it into my "favorite hymns" repertoire. In the ELW, hymns are placed under headings such as the season of the Church year, healing, forgiveness, and so on. The hymn we sang that I really liked is under the heading of "healing." Looking at that song made me think about Ma's upcoming surgery, and so I looked in the front of the hymnal and found a service for healing. It begins on page 276 with an introduction that says,

"Our Lord Jesus healed many as a sign of the reign of God come near and sent the disciples to continue this work of healing--with prayer, the laying on of hands, and anointing. In the name of Christ, the great healer and reconciler of the world, we now entrust to God all who are in need of healing."

After the introduction is a place for intercessory prayers for all who suffer. Because of Jesus, we can come before God honestly and openly, knowing that God hears our prayers and our cries for help. This is most encouraging for me. Even if things don't turn out the way I'd like them, I can still trust in the unmistakable and unrelenting promises of Christ.

There are a few options for the next part of the Order of Service. The leader can discern which one would work best for a given situation. The point is that people can come forward and receive the laying on of hands where the minister then says one of two things. I'm partial to the second option. It reminds me of Confirmation in its wording and actions.

"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 her/him from the power of evil; and preserve her/him in true faith, to share in the power of Christ's resurrection and to serve you with all the saints now and evermore. Amen."

The service continues on, but I would instead like to leave you with the words to the hymn that started this post. ELW hymn 613-"Thy Holy Wings"

Thy holy wings, O Savior,
spread gently over me,
and let me rest securely
through good and ill in thee.
Oh, be my strength and portion,
my rock and hiding place,
and let my ev'ry moment
be lived within thy grace.

Oh, let me nestle near thee,
within thy downy breast
where I will find sweet comfort
and peace within thy nest.
Oh, close thy wings around me
and keep me safely there,
for I am but a newborn
and need thy tender care.

Oh, wash me in the waters
of Noah's cleansing flood.
Give me a willing spirit,
a heart both clean and good.
Oh, take into thy keeping
thy children great and small,
and while we sweetly slumber,
enfold us one and all.

Text: Carolina Sandell Berg
Music: Swedish Folk Tune; arr. hymnal version

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