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Saint Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine

Sacrament of Holy Unction

 

 

 

 

 

The Sanctification of the Holy Unction

This Sacrament is celebrated every year on Holy Wednesday, and may also be celebrated occasionally throughout the year, at which time everyone in the parish may be anointed with the Holy Oil for the healing of spiritual and bodily ills.

The Sacrament of Holy Unction may be celebrated any time of the year in case of serious illness. Please call on our office to make arrangement with Father Konstantinos Douvikas. Information to contact us is just a click away on your right hand side of this page.

The Mystery is given for healing (both physical and spiritual) and for the forgiveness of sin. For this reason, it is normally required that one goes to confession before receiving Unction. Because it is a Sacred Mystery of the Church, only Orthodox Christians may receive it.

The solemn form of Eastern Christian anointing requires the ministry of seven priests. A table is prepared, upon which is set a vessel containing wheat. Into the wheat has been placed an empty shrine-lamp, seven candles, and seven anointing brushes. Candles are distributed for all to hold during the service. The rite begins with reading Psalm 50 (the great penitential psalm), followed by the chanting of a special canon. After this, the senior priest (or bishop) pours pure olive oil and a small amount of wine into the shrine lamp, and says the "Prayer of the Oil", which calls upon God to "...sanctify this Oil, that it may be effectual for those who shall be anointed therewith, unto healing, and unto relief from every passion, every malady of the flesh and of the spirit, and every ill..." Then follow seven series of epistles, gospels, long prayers, Ektenias (litanies) and anointing. Each series is served by one of the seven priests in turn. The afflicted one is anointed with the sign of the cross on seven places: the forehead, the nostrils, the cheeks, the lips, the breast, the palms of both hands, and the back of the hands. After the last anointing, the Gospel Book is opened and placed with the writing down upon the head of the one who was anointed, and the senior priest reads the "Prayer of the Gospel". At the end, the anointed kisses the Gospel, the Cross and the right hands of the priests, receiving their blessing.

Anointing is considered to be a public rather than a private sacrament, and so as many of the faithful who are able are encouraged to attend. It should be celebrated in the church when possible, but if this is impossible, it may be served in the home or hospital room of the afflicted.

Anointing may also be given during Forgiveness Vespers and Great Week, on Great and Holy Wednesday, to all who are prepared. Those who receive Unction on Holy Wednesday should go to Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. The significance of receiving Unction on Holy Wednesday is shored up by the hymns in the Triodion for that day, which speaks of the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Christ. Just as her sins were forgiven because of her penitence, so the faithful are exhorted to repent of their sins. In the same narrative, Jesus says, "in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial" (Id., v. 12), linking the unction with Christ's death and resurrection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Us

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St. Nectarios is a parish of Metropolis of San Francisco of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

 

 

 

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Services:

Sunday Morning Liturgy

9:00 AM Orthros

10:00 AM Liturgy

 

Wednesday

Paraklesis (service)

to Saint Nectarios 7:00 PM

 

Church is open:

Monday thru Friday

9:00 AM 4:00 PM

Saturday:

9:00 AM 2:00 PM

 

Our services are in

Greek & English

 

Office Hours:

9:00 AM 4:00 PM

 

Email Address:

stnectarioschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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