Anointing with oil is an act of trust and dependence on God. Throughout the history of the church, anointing has been used at a variety of occasions including confirmation and ordination. But the most frequent use of anointing with oil has been reserved for the anointing of the sick. When the sick person is anointed in the presence of the worshiping community, the whole community declares that it places its trust on God alone for healing. The following entries describe the history and...
Anointing with oil is one of the oldest human rituals. It is frequently mentioned in Scripture and played an important role in the life of the early church. This article traces the history of this sacred action, concentrating on the ancient and medieval periods.
This article traces the history of anointing since the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Note how each development in the history of anointing was based on larger theological discussions.
Anointing with oil is action frequently mentioned in Scripture. This article traces these references and explains the theological significance of the image of ritual anointing that these passages establish.
This service allows for a local congregation to focus on the needs of its members who may be suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually. The outline of the service follows a traditional order of service, with entrance, proclamation, confession and assurance, and prayers. Following the prayers, members of the congregation are given the opportunity to receive anointing with oil or the laying on of hands. These acts are powerful symbols of God's presence with the people of God. In the face of adversity, the service of anointing gives opportunity for a bold declaration of faith and trust in God, for a recalling of God's promises, and for communal prayers for the suffering.
The following guidelines provide liturgical and pastoral rationale for planning an anointing service.