Historical development of the service for the Unction of the sick

  1. Lemma
  2. Ἱστορική ἐξέλιξη τῆς ἀκολουθίας τοῦ Εὐχελαίου
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Koutalis, Vangelis
  5. Complementarity - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Cult and spirituality - Natural and the supernatural
  6. 26-02-2017
  7. Skaltsis, Panagiotis [Author]. Historical development of the service for the Unction of the sick
  8. Η οδός
  9. Unction of the sick - medicine - sacramental life of the Church - history of the early Church
  10. Η οδός, φύλλο 16
    1. <p>Skaltsis, P. [Σκαλτσῆς, Π.] (2009). Ἱστορική ἐξέλιξη τῆς ἀκολουθίας τοῦ Εὐχελαίου. <em>Ἡ ὁδός</em>, <em>16</em>, 8-9.</p>
    1. From its earliest days, the Church, acknowledging the healing qualities of the oil, used it for the treatment of the maladies both of the body and the soul. By regarding physical health as an issue which must be dealt within the general framework of the unity of the life of the Church with the lives of the believers, the early Church developed gradually a particular service employing oil as a means of transferring divine power, which it evolved into a complex liturgical act.

      A particular prayer of consecration over the oil, as part of the Divine Liturgy, is documented for the first time in the 3rd century A.D, in the Apostolic Tradition attributed to Hippolytus of Rome. From the 8th to the 15th century the service for the Unction of the sick was further elaborated and from the 13th century onwards it was slowly disengaged from the Divine Liturgy. Historical evidence suggests that its definite disengagement occurred sometime in the 15th century. Already from its early history though, this sacrament associated bodily well-being with the health of the soul.