With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée, the Mystery of Holy Unction was served in the Holy Apostles Mission Station in Chilliwack, BC, Tuesday evening, April 19th, 2016. Offered for the healing of soul and body of the Orthodox faithful, this service is a fulfillment of the New Testament instruction of the Holy Apostle James:
Is any among you sick, let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5.14–16).
The service was additionally blessed by the presence of the icon containing the holy relics of the Great Martyr and Healer, Saint Panteleimon, which were brought by Fr. Vincent Lehr, Priest of St. Herman of Alaska Sobor in Edmonton.
Traditionally served as a “sobornal sacrament” – where as many of the local faithful as possible are gathered together – we were blessed to be able to serve all of the appointed Epistle Readings, Gospel Readings, and Priestly prayers. We were blessed that the following local clergy were able to attend, even during the busy time of the Great Fast: His Eminence Archbishop Lazar, His Grace Bishop Varlaam, and Hieromonk Moses (all of the Monastery of All Saints of North America, Dewdney, BC.); Father Michael Fourik, Rector of Holy Resurrection Sobor, Vancouver, BC & Dean of British Columbia and the Yukon; Fr. Michael Gillis, Holy Nativity Antiochian Orthodox Church, Langley, BC; Fr. Anastasios Majdalani, St. Joseph the Damascene Antiochian Orthodox Church, New Westminster, BC.; Fr. Vincent Lehr, St. Herman of Alaska Sobor, Edmonton, Alberta, and Fr. Matthew Francis, Priest in Charge of the Holy Apostles Mission Station, Chilliwack, BC.
The faithful gathered close to the Holy Gospel book as the final prayer was offered before the anointing with Holy Oil took place. This was the first time that the Service of Holy Unction was offered in the Holy Apostles Mission Station in Chilliwack.
Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!