The Sacrament of Unction - Forgiveness of Sins and Healing of Diseases
The Orthodox Church has seven sacraments: baptism, chrismation, confession, communion, unction, marriage, and the priesthood. The mystery of the unction has its own characteristics. According to the teaching of the Church, forgotten sins are forgiven in him.
Orthodoxy closely associates bodily diseases with the spiritual state of a person, therefore, believes that repentance affects physical well-being.
But in confession a person cannot remember all his sins. To fill it up and helps the unction. It can be performed both on seriously ill (it is necessary to invite a priest), and for all comers (mainly in Lent - the time of special repentance of sins).
How is it done? The clergy reads appropriate prayers for the forgiveness of sins, seven passages from the Apostle and the Gospel (for forgiveness, healing, mercy), anoints the worshipers with oil.Thus the grace of God is called upon the sick. So he gets relief in physical and mental ailments.
If performed in the temple, then all people hold lighted candles and pray:Have mercy on us, God!
Have mercy on us, Vladyko!
Have mercy on us, Holy One!
Hear us, O God!
Hear us, Vladyko!
Hear us, Holy One!
Heal us, God!
Heal us, Vladyko!
Heal us, Holy One!
The second name is anointing
The name itself - the Sacrament of the Unction - came because it was performed by the “cathedral”. There were seven priests in the temple.
Seven times they also anointed people with oil — the forehead, nostrils, cheeks, lips, chest and hands. Hence another name - the Sacrament of Unction.
Oil has always had a special meaning in the life of the Church. His abundance was perceived as God's blessing. In Greek, instead of "Lord, have mercy," they sing "Kyrie Eleison." If literally, then it translates as "anoint me with oil, heal."
The tradition to anoint the patient has been known since apostolic times. The Apostle James writes:Is any one of you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.And the prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, forgive him
It emphasizes the importance of having faith, prayer and the forgiveness of sins. It is the latter that is the burden that puts pressure on a person and provokes not only spiritual weakness, but also physical.
That is why it is so important, when approaching the Sacrament of Unction, to ask the Lord to forgive all the sins we have committed. Seeing our repentance, a broken heart and trusting in the Lord, God will truly forgive. But if a person comes to the temple for the sake of sports interest, to see what and how, without due repentance, he will only make himself worse.
Previously, such a formality and speech could not go: the sacrament of anointing was performed solely on seriously ill patients, because they were in such a state that they could not come to the temple.
From the sources of the tenth century it is known that not only the sick were gathered. All those living in this house were anointed with oil. The tradition to congregate in Lent is more characteristic of our time. Even among the clergy, many legitimate questions arise: who can embark on an unenlightenment, how justified are the restrictions for children under 7 years old if they are sick?
Is the sacrament of unction a guarantee of healing?
Making aneration does not give a 100% certainty that the sick will get out of bed and everything will be as before.
Only God knows exactly what will be better for a person in a particular situation. The Lord wants the salvation of everyone. After such contrition in sins and prayer for forgiveness, coupled with the sevenfold anointing with oil, it will indeed be easier for the soul of man - it is no longer burdened with vices.
If God sees that healing from bodily ailments will benefit the person, then the latter will receive it. In any case, the changes will be noticeable.
There are numerous testimonies about how some people were completely healed, others were relieved, some seriously ill patients retreated to the Lord.
No wonder that anointing of the sacrament is called. What gifts a person will receive from God in his faith is truly a mystery that the Lord reveals.