The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Anointing on Iona

Posted on by Dianne Otwell

It was 5 p.m. on Iona, time to gather for our last formal meeting, time to hungrily converse, in anticipation of parting, knowing that we might never all be together again—time to circle ‘round in twelfth century Oran Chapel. The bell was rung, the candle was lit, the prayers were prayed--and we sang these words together

Gathered here in the mystery of this hour,
Gathered here in one strong body.
Gathered here in the struggle and the power,
Spirit, draw near.

Our gentle, kindly, even holy, fellow pilgrim (a former pastor and pastoral counselor/therapist) took the small bowl of oil. We stepped forward one by one. As he drew the cross on each forehead with the oil, our leader spoke these words:

In body, mind, and spirit, may you be well this day, and may you be strong for the work of healing in the world.

And . . . the Spirit drew near.