Holy Unction service of Great Lent
The service of Holy Unction was held today at the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Throughout the Holy Forty Days, it will be performed on Thursdays in the monastery’s Transfiguration Cathedral.
Holy Unction is one of the seven Mysteries of the Holy Church. “Is any sick among you?” writes St. James the Apostle, “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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15). Confessed sins are forgiven during the Holy Mystery of Confession, while here the holy apostle speaks of forgotten sins committed voluntarily or involuntarily, in deed, word or thought.
The holy oil consecrated during the Mystery of Holy Unction serves to represent God’s mercy for those who are sick and who committed sins. Anointing them with this oil, the clergy ask that the Lord bestows on them the grace of healing from physical and mental ailments, consoles them, brings peace and spiritual joy, enlightens their minds, warms their hearts in faith and virtue, and strengthens them in their labors.