Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/Pastoral Offices/Ministration to the Sick
Ministration to the Sick
In case of illness, the Minister of the Congregation is to be notified.
At the Ministration, one or more parts of the following service are used, as appropriate; but when two or more are used together, they are used in the order indicated. The Lord’s Prayer is always included.
Part One of this service may always be led by a deacon or lay person.
When the Laying on of Hands or Anointing takes place at a public celebration of the Eucharist, it is desirable that it precede the distribution of Holy Communion, and it is recommended that it take place immediately before the exchange of the Peace.
The Celebrant begins the service with the following or some other greeting
Peace be to this house (place), and to all who dwell in it.
Part I. Ministry of the Word
One or more of the following or other passages of Scripture are read
2 Corinthians 1:3‑5 (God comforts us in affliction)
Psalm 91 (He will give his angels charge over you)
Luke 17:11‑19 (Your faith has made you well)
Hebrews 12:1‑2 (Looking to Jesus, the perfecter of our faith)
Psalm 103 (He forgives all your sins)
Matthew 9:2‑8 (Your sins are forgiven)
When Anointing is to follow
James 5:14‑16 (Is any among you sick?)
Psalm 23 (You have anointed my head with oil)
Mark 6:7, 12‑13 (They anointed with oil many that were sick)
When Communion is to follow
1 John 5:13‑15 (That you may know that you have eternal life)
Psalm 145:14‑22 (The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord)
John 6:47‑51 (I am the bread of life)
After any Reading, the Celebrant may comment on it briefly.
Prayers may be offered according to the occasion.
The Priest may suggest the making of a special confession, if the sick person’s conscience is troubled, and use the form for the Reconciliation of a Penitent.
Or else the following general confession may be said
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
The Priest alone says
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
A deacon or lay person using the preceding form substitutes “us” for “you” and “our” for “your.”
The following anthem is said
Savior of the world, by your cross and precious blood you have redeemed us;
Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech you, O Lord.
The Priest then lays hands upon the sick person, and says one of the following
N., I lay my hands upon you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, beseeching our Lord Jesus Christ to sustain you with his presence, to drive away all sickness of body and spirit, and to give you that victory of life and peace which will enable you to serve him both now and evermore. Amen.
N., I lay my hands upon you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill you with his grace, that you may know the healing power of his love. Amen.
If the person is to be anointed, the Priest dips a thumb in the holy oil, and makes the sign of the cross on the sick person’s forehead, saying
N., I anoint you with oil in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Priest may add
As you are outwardly anointed with this holy oil, so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit. Of his great mercy, may he forgive you your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength. May he deliver you from all evil, preserve you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In cases of necessity, a deacon or lay person may perform the anointing, using oil blessed by a bishop or priest.
If Communion is not to follow, the Lord’s Prayer is now said.
The Priest concludes
The Almighty Lord, who is 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 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. Amen.
Part III. Holy Communion
If the Eucharist is to be celebrated, the Priest begins with the [Peace and] Offertory.
If Communion is to be administered from the reserved Sacrament, the form for Communion under Special Circumstances is used, beginning with the [Peace and] Lord’s Prayer on page 398.
If the sick person cannot receive either the consecrated Bread or the Wine, it is suitable to administer the Sacrament in one kind only.
One of the usual postcommunion prayers is said, or the following
Gracious Father, we give you praise and thanks for this Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of your beloved Son Jesus Christ, the pledge of our redemption; and we pray that it may bring us forgiveness of our sins, strength in our weakness, and everlasting salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The service concludes with a blessing or with a dismissal
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth.
Prayers for the Sick
For a Sick Person
O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant N. for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Recovery from Sickness
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant N. the help of your power, that his sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant N., that his weakness may be banished and his strength restored; and that, his health being renewed, he may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For a Sick Child
Heavenly Father, watch with us over your child N., and grant that he may be restored to that perfect health which it is yours alone to give; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child N. Relieve his pain, guard him from all danger, restore to him your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise him up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for your dear Name’s sake. Amen.
Before an Operation
Almighty God our heavenly Father, graciously comfort your servant N. in his suffering, and bless the means made use of for his cure. Fill his heart with confidence that, though at times he may be afraid, he yet may put his trust in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Strengthen your servant N., O God, to do what he has to do and bear what he has to bear; that, accepting your healing gifts through the skill of surgeons and nurses, he may be restored to usefulness in your world with a thankful heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Strength and Confidence
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servant N., and give your power of healing to those who minister to his needs, that he may be strengthened in his weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Sanctification of Illness
Sanctify, O Lord, the sickness of your servant N., that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith and seriousness to his repentance; and grant that he may live with you in everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Health of Body and Soul
May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
For Doctors and Nurses
Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life‑giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thanksgiving for a Beginning of Recovery
O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are new every morning: We give you thanks for giving our brother (sister) N. both relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue in him, we pray, the good work you have begun; that he, daily increasing in bodily strength, and rejoicing in your goodness, may so order his life and conduct that he may always think and do those things that please you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers for use by a Sick Person
For Trust in God
O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father’s will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God. Amen.
O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
In the Morning
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.