Lay Healing, Eucharistic Ministers & Visitors

[su_quote]O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant the help of your power, that his/her sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[/su_quote] – p. 458, Book of Common Prayer

Lay Healing Ministers

Healing is a central theme of worship, and a hallmark of the Holy Spirit’s ongoing restorative work in the world. The lay healing ministry is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry, and of his directive to his disciples, as expressed in — The Great Commission .

At Saint Thomas, those who feel called to serve as conduits for the healing power of God’s Holy Spirit, are guided by our deacon through scripturally-based formation and training. Two books by Francis MacNutt — “Healing” and “The Healing Reawakening” — are highly recommended to anyone interested in serving.

After their training and commissioning, lay healing ministers serve at one of the two Sunday morning services. They make themselves available by standing near the Baptismal font during the Holy Communion, where anyone desiring healing prayers for themselves or on behalf of a loved one, can approach them and make their request known. The healing minister will then gently place their hands on the requester’s head or shoulders and softly speak a prayerful petition to God, closing with an Amen.

Lay Eucharistic Ministers & Visitors

The role of a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM) is to assist the clergy during worship by passing the chalice, or cup of wine, to those receiving Communion. To fulfill this role, LEMs must be confirmed adult communicants in good standing, who are trained and recommended by the parish deacon, certified by the rector, and licensed by the bishop.

After serving for a full calendar year, some LEMs may be further prepared by the deacon, authorized by the rector, and licensed by the bishop to take Holy Communion to members of the congregation who are unable to attend a worship service because of illness or infirmity. This is the Lay Eucharistic Visitor (LEV) ministry — it requires pastoral care training, a deeper understanding of the sacrament of Holy Communion, an awareness of how to exercise the ministry with dignity, grace, and reliability, and completion of a three-hour “Safeguarding God’s People” course.

Eucharistic Visitors serve those who are homebound, hospitalized or nursing home residents, enabling them to receive the consecrated bread and wine, and spiritually uniting them with their brothers and sisters who gathered at worship earlier that day. People who are shut in are remembered by name, and prayed for during the service, making them an integral part of the shared Eucharistic celebration. The visits made by Eucharistic Visitors are a complement to pastoral care calls made by the clergy.

For more information on these ministries, Contact Rev. Michael Ridgway
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