SACRAMENT OF HOLY UNCTION

We would like to invite our faithful parishioners to the Sacrament of Holy Unction which will be conducted in our parish church (located at 714 N American St. Philadelphia, PA 19123) on Saturday, March 21, 2015, 12:00pm.

The Sacrament of Holy Unction is performed especially during Lent. Through the prayers and anointing their bodies with holy oil by the priests, believers who participate in the Sacrament of Holy Unction acquire God's grace for the healing of souls and bodies and for forgiveness of sins. The Sacrament is performed by a gathering of priests, ideally seven in number, however, it can be performed by a lesser number and even by a single priest. At the conclusion of the service of the Sacrament, the grace of God, which heals infirmities of soul and body, is called down upon each person, and the bodies are anointed with oil.

Christ came to the world to "bear our infirmities." As He knew very well that unless they “see signs and wonders”, people “will not believe” (John 4: 48), Christ performed many miracles in confirmation of Him being the Messiah. One of them was healing the sick. Holy Unction reminds us that when we are in pain - physical or spiritual -, Christ is with us through the work of His Church. He is with us to give us strength which enables us to face life's challenges and even to understand and accept death. The power of healing remains in the Church since Christ himself remains in the Church through the Holy Spirit. When we are ill and in pain, when we feel alone and isolated, Christ is present with us through the ministry of His Church. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, or Holy Unction as it is also known, reminds us that when we are in pain, either physical, emotional, or spiritual, He is among us to offer strength to meet the challenges of life, and even the approach of death.

The Sacrament of the Unction of the sick is the Church's specific prayer for healing. If the faith of the believers is strong enough, and if it is the will of God, there is every reason to believe that the Lord can heal those who are diseased. The biblical basis for the Sacrament is found in James 5:14-16: “Is any among you sick, let him call for the presbyters 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 save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

The Sacrament itself calls for seven priests, seven readings from the Epistles and Gospels, seven prayers and a seven-time anointing with oil specifically blessed during the service. Although it is not always possible to perform the sacrament in this way, the normal procedure is still to gather together as many priests and people as possible.

Besides our own clergymen, Fr. Nicolai Buga, the parish priest, and Fr. Deacon Timotei Avram, several other Orthodox priests from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York will honor us with their presence and ministry.

According to the Orthodox tradition, believers bring flour, oil, candles and a list of their family members’ (baptismal) names. After the blessing of the flour and oil, at the end of the service, the oil and flower can be taken home, for both therapeutic and cooking purposes.

I am looking forward to seeing you then.

Pr. Nicolai Buga

 

Vă anunțăm că duminică 22 februarie, la orele 1:00 pm, biserica noastră organizează o Agapă de Lasata Secului. Intrarea pe bază de donații pentru biserică.

Vă așteptăm!

 

Îi anunțăm pe toți cei interesați că, începând din duminica aceasta, 8 februarie 2015, la bucătăria bisericii noastre se pun în vânzare MICI cruzi: un pachet de 12 buc. = $15. Sunt delicioși.