As the holiday season approaches, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church understands that not everyone is feeling joyful.

For those who are missing loved ones who have died or who are facing challenges in their life, this can be a difficult time of year.

So a Healing Service is scheduled 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at the church on 71 West River Street in Milford, for both parishioners and non-parishioners..

“The need for healing can be for issues relating to mind, body or spirit,” said the Rev. Cynthia Knapp, priest-in-charge. “It’s especially important to have this service at holiday time because people who are feeling sad or lonely can feel very alone in their struggles when the rest of the world seems to be celebrating. The contrast can make their own challenges all the more difficult.”

“We have multiple stations offering prayer for healing during Communion and allow extra time as most of the people who come to this service come forward for prayer,” Knapp said. “We have many people who have been healed either instantly or gradually and even those who do not experience the kind of healing they are praying for are encouraged and strengthened. Something always happens when we pray for healing whether it is what we are expecting or not. The Lord always works through prayer.”

The service is a Eucharistic service (includes Communion) with Scripture readings and a sermon that are all centered on the theme of healing,” Knapp said. “The music is contemporary Christian music that fits the theme of the service. After taking communion, while the music is playing, a person may go to one of three or more specially trained two-person teams to receive prayer for healing. The person may be as general or specific as he or she wishes in what they are asking for and anything that is said is kept confidential by those who are praying for them.”

“The team will then place a hand on the person, either on arms, shoulders or head, and pray for the person to be healed. At the end of the prayer they will anoint the person with oil that has been blessed for healing making the sign of the cross on their forehead. If the person’s concern is for someone else it is also possible to receive prayer and anointing for healing on behalf of another person.”

“Healing services are also offered at other times of the year, but the one at this time of year is particularly important. We recognize that during the holidays there are many people who are hurting and particularly in need of prayer for healing.” Knapp said.