We went to a different parish this morning instead of our regular parish. Maybe this was supposed to be a Healing Mass? Can anyone explain to me what I just experienced?
It was a normal Mass, to my knowledge, and just prior to Mass the Pastor announced that we would also have a Healing Service (maybe he said Healing Mass, I can’t recall) during Mass.
Mass proceeded as usual for this parish up to the Gospel reading. Then it was announced that in lieu of a homily, we would have adoration of the Sacrament and a healing service. The Monstrance was brought out and set upon the altar and we all knelt in our pews for adoration of Christ.
Then, the Priest calls us all to come up front toward the altar, hold hands, and he led the congregation in prayer. The prayer seemed to be “official”…it didn’t sound like something he would have just made up. Then he went through a brief examination of conscience, asking forgiveness, etc… (the congregation was silent while he prayed).
As he prays, he mentions the words from James 5:14-15 (Is any sick among you? 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.")
That’s when I really started to get concerned. I’ve never been to a “Healing Mass”, so at this point I’m thinking he’s about to administer Anointing of the Sick. (It turns out there was a young man there who was just diagnosed with cancer, and I think this was done on his behalf.)
Okay, so lo and behold, here comes the oil. He asks everyone to process for anointing on the forehead and hands. This is where I just went and knelt back down in my pew, because I didn’t feel properly disposed to receive Anointing of the Sick.
After this, the Monstrance is placed back in the chapel and Mass continues as usual with the profession of faith.
**What just happened? **I feel guilty for having gone up to the altar at all, holding hands during this prayer service, but I’m also more of a “traddy” so I don’t know if this is just my personal bias talking to me, or if I just participated in something completely illicit and witnessed an invalid Anointing of the Sick.