Revista Studii Teologice


JA slide show

Valoarea doctrinară a cântărilor Tainei Sfântului Maslu. Slujba Sfântului Maslu

Autor(i): Pr. Zaharia MATEI

Summary: The Dogmatic Value of the Hymns in Holy Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The Typikon of Holy Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
The mystery of the Holy Unction is one of the seven Church sacraments, and was established by our Saviour Jesus Christ himself, the Doctor and Healer of both soul and flesh. It confers the grace of healing and remission of sins. In the Old Tes-tament it was foreshadowed by the ritual of anointment of the sick, but especially the unction of priests and kings, while in Church life the Holy Unction Mystery is a mani-festation of the priestly power of Saviour Jesus Christ. St. James mentions its celebra-tion during the apostolic times, in his epistle (James 5, 13-16). This sacrament was jointly performed with the Holy Liturgy and was administered to the sick, who after confessing and receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord, were anointed with the chrism sanctified by seven priests. In time, the Holy Unction service received additio-nal chants and prayers, and towards the end of the first Christian millennium it reached the liturgical form still in use today. It includes a preparatory part, the Or-thros service centered on the canon composed by St Arsenios, archbishop of Kerkyra in the 10th century, abounding in dogmatic tenets that emphasize the Saviour’s sanctifying and healing work within the Church, as well as the intercession and hea-ling granted by the Holy Virgin and the saints to those who beseech them for aid, with a clean, faithful heart. The Holy Unction chants reveal that Lord Jesus Christ, our Doctor and Healer, works in the Church by His grace, through the prayers utte-red by priests, granting remission of sins and recovery of health when those afflicted because of their sins implore His mercy and aid. It is not the oil in itself that heals, but Christ Himself is present through the Holy Spirit in the chrism anointing the sick. These chants point out that Christ heals the body as well as the soul,that is man in his entirety, since any sinful act of the soul has repercussions on the body. Therefore bodily healing has to start with the soul and then be extended onto the body; thus the body becomes the arena of an encounter between man and God. The Holy Uncti-on is also the saintly and sanctifying act by which the Church beseeches God’s mercy for all her children. Chants and prayers implore this mercy and the divine blessing. The healing grace, however, is active only within those who devoutedly ask for God’s mercy and aid. The ailing one is not alone but his own prayers are joined by the intercessory prayers of the saints, as well as the love and prayers of all Church members, clergy and laypeople, who intercede for the bestowing of grace and the santification of the oil, so that it may impart forgiveness and healing. The role of communion is repeatedly emphasized by the sacrament’s chants and prayers, thus stressing the ecclesial character of this mystery. The sign of the cross made over the suffering ones with holy oil imparts forgiveness and good health, but the cross is also the sign of life renewal and a weapon to overcome the power of the devil. Therefore the man anointed with healing oil is granted protection and power to resist the temp-tations of the enemy. The chants also stress that Christ is active in the Church even now, and His work is the same as it was in the Apostles’ times, while apostolic suc-cession is the argument or foundation of the continuous sacramental and pastoral activity of priests.

Pagini: 109-161