Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Service of Healing - First Friday Mass

Fr Kieron Gardiner prays for healing with members of the congregation
"When I feel the touch of your hand upon my life". This opening line of one of the hymns sums up the essence of the first Friday Healing Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Caterham. During the Mass, all those who wish are invited to come up for laying on of hands and anointing with oil, not only as themselves but on behalf of anyone in need of healing.

The almost full church at 10.00 a.m. and the length of the queue down the aisle are evidence of how much this is appreciated, as also is the testimony from parishioners. One, Ruth, said "I feel as if Jesus is putting his hand on me and I experience peace." Another, Lis, said "It is a most beautiful service and I look forward to it each month. In my heart I bring various members of my family with me". For another, the meditative singing of the hymns add a most prayerful atmosphere.

At the end of Mass there is Benediction which includes litany-like prayers thanking God for the gift of the Eucharist, in addition to the traditional hymns and prayers. During Lent, after the gospel, there is a meditation of two or three of the Stations of the Cross. 

Many other churches in the Diocese offer such services of healing every month.

Photo Ann Lardeur

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