Visits to the Sick

Visits to the Sick


I was sick and you visited me.

The prayers contained in this chapter follow the common pattern of reading, response, prayer, and blessing. This pattern is provided as an example of what can be done and may be adapted as necessary. The minister may wish to invite those present to prepare for the reading from Scripture, perhaps by a brief introduction or through a moment of silence.The laying on of hands may be added by the priest, if appropriate, after the blessing is given.

55. The sick should be encouraged to pray when they are alone or with their families, friends, or those who are for them. Their prayer should be drawn primarily from Scripture. The sick person and others may help to plan the celebration, for example, by choosing the prayers and readings. Those making these choices should keep in mind the condition of the sick person.

The passages found in this chapter and speak of the mystery of human suffering in the words, works, and life of Christ. Occasionally, for example, on the Lord’s Day, the sick may feel more involved in the worship of the community from which they are separated if the readings used are those assigned for that day in the lectionary. Prayers may also be drawn from the psalms or from other prayers or litanies. The sick should be helped in making this form of prayer, and the minister should always be ready to pray with them.

56. The minister should encourage the sick person to offer his or her sufferings in union with Christ and to join in prayer for the Church and the world. Some examples of particular intentions which may be suggested to the sick person are: for peace in the world; for a deepening of the life of the Spirit in the local Church; for the pope and the bishops; for people suffering in a particular disaster.


57. The word of God is proclaimed by one of those present or by the minister. Additional options may be found in Pastoral Care of the Sick - Readings found in the ‘Prayers’ Section of the iBreviary.

Acts 3:1-10

In the name of Jesus and the power of his Church, there is salvation—even liberation from sickness.

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Once, when Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer,
a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.

The word of the Lord.

B Matthew 8:14-17

Jesus fulfills the prophetic figure of the servant of God taking upon himself and relieving the sufferings of God’s people.

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

   “He took away our infirmities
   and bore our diseases.”

The gospel of the Lord.


58. A brief period of silence may be observed after the reading of the word of God. An appropriate psalm from Part III (Pastoral Care of the Sick - Readings, found in the ‘Rites’ Section of the iBreviary) or one of the following psalms may be used.


Psalm 102

R. O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you.

O Lord, hear my prayer;
   and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
   in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
   in the dat when I call, answer me speedily.

R. O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you.

He has broken down my strength in the way;
   has cut short my days.
      I say: O my God,
Take me not hence in the midst of my days.
   through all generations your years endure.

R. O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you.

Let this be written for the generation to come,
   and let his future creatures praise the Lord:
“The Lord looked down from his holy height,
   from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
   to release those doomed to die.”

R. O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you.


Psalm 27

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
   of whom should I be afraid?

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

One thing I ask of the Lord;
   this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord’
  and contemplate his temple.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

For he will hide me in his abode
   in the day of trouble,
He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent;
   he will set me high upon a rock.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The minister may then give a brief explanation of the reading, applying it to the needs of the sick person and those who are looking after him or her.

The Lord’s Prayer

59. The minister introduces the Lord’s Prayer in these or similar words:

Now let us offer together the prayer our Lord Jesus Christ taught us:

All say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

60. The minister says a concluding prayer. One of the following may be used:


your Son accepted our sufferings
to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness.
Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brother/sister.
May all who suffer pain, illness, or disease
realize that they have been chosen to be saints
and know that they are joined to Christ
in his suffering for the salvation of the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


All-powerful and ever-living God,
the lasting health of all who believe in you,
hear us as we ask your loving help for the sick;
restore their health,
that they may again offer joyful thanks in your Church.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


All-powerful and ever-living God,
we find security in your forgiveness.
Give us serenity and peace of mind;
may we rejoice in your gifts of kindness
and use them always for your glory and our good.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
R. Amen.


61. The minister may give a blessing. One of the following may be used.


All praise and glory is yours, Lord our God,
for you have called us to serve you in love.
Bless N.
so that he/she may bear this illness in union with your Son’s obedient suffering.
Restore him/her to health,
and lead him/her to glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

B For an elderly person

All praise and glory are yours, Lord our God,
for you have called us to serve you in love.
Bless all who have grown old in your service
and give N. strength and courage
to continue to follow Jesus your Son.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

If the minister is a priest or deacon, he immediately concludes:

May the blessing of almighty God,
The Father, and the Son + and the Holy Spirit,
Come upon you and remain with you forever.
R. Amen.

The priest may lay hands upon the sick person’s head.

A minister who is not a priest or deacon invokes God’s blessing and makes the sign of the cross on himself or herself, while saying:

May the Lord + bless us,
protect us from all evil,
and bring us to everlasting life.
R. Amen.

The minister may then trace the sign of the cross on the sick person’s forehead.

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