A liturgical section for commissioning lay ministers

A Brief Order for Commissioning Lay Ministers of Health and Wellness

Rubrics (descriptions and explanations) are in red.
P: presiding minister, L: lay ministers being commissioned, C : Congregation.


[This service is best used within a standard worship service, following the Offertory. It’s actually a specialized version of an order for commissioning other ministries, such as those ministring in education, evangelism, social ministries, youth ministry, or worship. Consider commissioning any of those who have demonstrated the ability, gift, commitment and responsibility to make a job or task or avocation into a real ministry for Christ’s sake.]

P: Today we act as the Body of Christ to recognize and support those who do ministries of health and healing among us in Christ’s name. Baptized into Christ’s priesthood, we are each called to offer ourselves in service, sometimes in specialized ministry as [[ name(s) ]] are doing right now.

[The person/people about to be commissioned come forward. Then, someone officially representing the church council or vestry arises and comes forward, to give a brief description of each person’s specific health ministry. Then the council representative is seated, and the lay ministers gather around the presiding minister, on their knees.]

P: Will you commit yourselves to serve people in the humble manner of Jesus, and be responsible to the Body of Christ for the manner in which you serve?

L : Yes, with God’s help.

[The presiding minister then goes to each lay minister, and lays both hands on his/her head. Other ordained personnel are invited by the presiding minister to come up and join in the laying of hands.]

P: Come, Holy Spirit, and give blessing and power to the ministry of your faithful servant [[ name ]], that the broken may become whole, and that Your name be given glory.

P, L: Amen.

[When this is completed, the lay ministers arise and turn to the congregation, linking hands. The presiding minister may choose to link hands with them, especially if there is only one being commissioned.]

P, L : We stand together in service to our Lord and our neighbor.

P : Lord, bless all of those who serve to bring wellness and wholeness to others. Bless and guide physicians, nurses, technicians, emergency personnel, physical trainers, dieticians, hospital visitation ministers, chaplains, and prayer intercessors. Grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, resilience and faithfulness. In Your mercy, heal those who need healing and give comfort to all who need comfort. Through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

[Other specific ministries, such as faith healers and Stephen ministers, can be included in the above prayer, as fits the congregation’s traditions and actual ministries.]

All : Amen.

[At this point, the lay ministers return to their seats and all return to the rest of the service.]


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