My church has a twice yearly Anointing Mass for anointing the sick. It is also called a Healing Mass. Everyone is welcome whether for a physical or a mental ailment. Many of the neighboring nursing homes and assisted living centers bring in their residents for this special mass. This was my third one. I go for both my depression and my knee pain.
Obviously this is for people of the Catholic faith, but belief or not I still think it is a wonderful experience of community and sharing our joy which halves our pain*. Seating is every other pew so the priests can move through to anoint and offer the Eucharist.
There is music and singing; there are prayers and scripture reading. It’s a Mass so it includes the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The Mass is followed by lunch. I usually attend alone, so it’s always a surprise who I will be sitting with. So many people go to so much trouble, cooking, setting everything up, decorating. There are prayer cards and a favor to take home. One of the volunteers makes them. They are so thoughtful and creative; it makes me want to go home and create something.
In yesterday’s writing, I mentioned having an object to help with meditation and contemplation. Today we were given a small medal with a cutout of a cross. I have been given this week’s object, I see.
I encourage you to look up today’s readings. They are always a link from the past history to our daily lives. One of the things I enjoy about going to Mass so often (usually four times a week) is that despite the words being thousands of years old, they still speak to me. I relate to them on a regular, almost daily, basis.
First Reading: Lamentations 3:17-23
Second Reading: James 5:13-16
Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
One of my favorite of her quotations struck me when I first heard it. Ironically, when I am in a pessimistic mood, I will still often say that everything will work out; it will be okay.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”
is so close to my own sentiment that I did a double take the first time I heard it, which was appropriately at my first healing mass.
[Borrowed and paraphrased with permission from Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness.]