Laying on of hands

Laying on of hands

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The laying on of hands is a religious ritual that accompanies certain religious practice
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, which are found throughout the world in varying forms.

In Christian churches
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, this practice is used as both a symbolic and formal method of invoking the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 primarily during baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

s and confirmations, healing service
Faith healing
Faith healing is healing through spiritual means. The healing of a person is brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents, stimulate a divine presence and power toward correcting disease and disability. Belief in divine intervention in illness or...

s, blessings, and ordination
Ordination
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is...

 of priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s, minister
Minister of religion
In Christian churches, a minister is someone who is authorized by a church or religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community...

s, elders, deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

s, and other church officers, along with a variety of other church sacrament
Sacrament
A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.-General definitions and terms:...

s and holy ceremonies.

Jewish tradition


The laying on of hands was an action referred to on numerous occasions in the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

  to accompany the conferring of a blessing or authority. For example, Isaac
Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

 blessed his son Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

 by laying on of hands .

Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 ordained Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

 through semikhah - i.e. by the laying on of hands: , . The Bible adds that Joshua was thereby "filled with the spirit of wisdom". Moses also ordained the 70 elders . The elders later ordained their successors in this way. Their successors in turn ordained others. This chain of hands-on semikhah continued through the time of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

, to an undetermined time. The exact date that the original semikhah succession ended is not certain. Many medieval authorities believed that this occurred during the reign of Hillel II, around the year 360 CE. However, it seems to have continued at least until 425, when Theodosius II
Theodosius II
Theodosius II , commonly surnamed Theodosius the Younger, or Theodosius the Calligrapher, was Byzantine Emperor from 408 to 450. He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople...

 executed Gamaliel VI
Gamaliel VI
Gamaliel VI was the last nasi of the ancient Sanhedrin.Gamaliel came into office around the year 400. On 17 October 415, an edict issued by the Emperors Honorius and Theodosius II deposed Gamaliel as nasi because he had disregarded an earlier decree by Honorius, which had curtailed his privileges...

 and suppressed the Patriarchate
Nasi
Nāśī’ is a Hebrew title meaning prince in Biblical Hebrew, Prince in Mishnaic Hebrew, or president in Modern Hebrew.-Genesis and Ancient Israel:...

 and Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

.

Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

 and the High Priests
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

 who succeeded him transferred the sins of the Children of Israel to a sacrificial goat
Scapegoat
Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals , individuals against groups , groups against individuals , and groups against groups Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any...

 by the laying on of hands: Leviticus
Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah ....

.

Christian traditions


In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 the laying on of hands was associated with the receiving of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 (See Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 ). Initially the Apostles laid hands on new believers as well as believers. (See ). In the early church, the practice continued and is still used in a wide variety of church ceremonies, such as during confirmation.

Some Christian also believe that the laying on of hands can have curative properties, based on biblical precedent set by Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, who would walk for days, offering his healing power. Both Christian and non-Christian faith healers will lay hands on people when praying for healing, and often the name of Jesus is invoked as the spiritual agency through which the healing of physical ailments is believed to be obtained.

Eastern Christianity


In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 and Eastern Catholic Churches, the chrism
Chrism
Chrism , also called "Myrrh" , Holy anointing oil, or "Consecrated Oil", is a consecrated oil used in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Rite Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in Old-Catholic churches, as well as Anglican churches in the administration...

 (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: myron) which is used at chrismation
Chrismation
Chrismation is the name given in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East, Anglican, and in Lutheran initiation rites, to the Sacrament or Sacred Mystery more commonly known in the West as confirmation, although Italian...

 and the anointing
Anointing
To anoint is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions. People and things are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a sacramental or divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, power or God...

 of sovereigns
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 is believed to be descended directly from oil which the Apostles blessed and laid their hands on. This is added to as needed by the Primates
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 of the Autocephalous Churches, and is dispersed to priests for their use in administering the Sacred Mysteries
Sacred Mysteries
The term sacred mysteries generally denotes the area of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology.-Pre-Christian religious mysteries:...

 (Sacraments). In the Eastern Christan Tradition
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

, anointing
Anointing
To anoint is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions. People and things are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a sacramental or divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, power or God...

 with the chrism is the equivalent of laying on of hands. The presentation of this chrism which has received the laying on of hands, together with an antimension
Antimension
The Antimins, , is one of the most important furnishings of the altar in many Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, either linen or silk, typically decorated with representations of the Descent of Christ from the Cross, the four Evangelists, and inscriptions...

 is the manner in which a bishop bestows faculties
Faculty (instrument)
A faculty is a legal instrument or warrant in canon law, especially a judicial or quasi-judicial warrant from an ecclesiastical court or tribunal.In the Roman Catholic Church, it is "the authority, privilege, or permission, to perform an act or function...

 upon a priest under his omophorion
Omophorion
In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition, the omophor is the distinguishing vestment of a bishop and the symbol of his spiritual and ecclesiastical authority...

 (i.e., under his authority).
The Orthodox also use laying on of hands for the ordination (called Cheirotonia) of the higher clergy
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 (bishops, priests and deacons) which is distinguished from the blessing (called Cheirothesia) of the lower clergy
Minor orders
The minor orders are the lowest ranks in the Christian clergy. The most recognized minor orders are porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte. In the Latin rite Catholic Church, the minor orders were in most cases replaced by "instituted" ministries of lector and acolyte, though communities that use...

 (taper bearers
Altar server
An altar server is a lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a Christian religious service. An altar server attends to supporting tasks at the altar such as fetching and carrying, ringing the altar bell and so on....

, readers and subdeacon
Subdeacon
-Subdeacons in the Orthodox Church:A subdeacon or hypodeacon is the highest of the minor orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church. This order is higher than the reader and lower than the deacon.-Canonical Discipline:...

s). Priests and deacons receive the laying on of hands by a single bishop, bishops are consecrated by three or more bishops.

The laying on of hands is also performed at the end of the Mystery (Sacrament) of Unction. This Mystery is usually performed by seven priests. Six of the priests lay their hands on a Gospel Book
Gospel Book
The Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels is a codex or bound volume containing one or more of the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament...

 which has been placed over the head of the one being anointed, while the senior priest reads a prayer.

Roman Catholicism


In the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, the laying on of hands is performed in the sacrament
Sacraments of the Catholic Church
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper...

 of Holy Orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 and is the means by which one is included in one of the three major orders: bishop, priest, or deacon. Ordination can be administered only by a bishop in Apostolic Succession (valid), and should only be accomplished by a bishop who is properly authorized by the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 (licit). The laying on of hands to the priesthood enables a person so ordained to act in persona Christi
In persona Christi
In persona Christi is a Latin phrase meaning “in the person of Christ,” an important concept in Roman Catholicism and, in varying degrees, to other Christian traditions...

; i.e., "in the person of Christ." Ordination allows a priest validly to administer sacraments, most notably giving that individual the authority to celebrate the Eucharist. The sacraments of ordination and confirmation are, however, reserved exclusively to a bishop (with certain exceptions).

The sacrament of Confirmation
Confirmation (Catholic Church)
Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments through which Catholics pass in the process of their religious upbringing. According to Catholic doctrine, in this sacrament they receive the Holy Spirit and become adult members of the Catholic Church....

 is "the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost", and "brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace."
In the Latin-Rite (i.e., Western) Catholic Church, the sacrament is customarily conferred only on persons old enough to understand it, and the ordinary minister of Confirmation is a bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

. Only for a serious reason may the diocesan bishop delegate a priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 to administer the sacrament (canon 884 of the Code of Canon Law). However, a priest may by law confer the sacrament, if he baptizes someone who is no longer an infant or admits a person already baptized to full communion
Communion (Christian)
The term communion is derived from Latin communio . The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship". In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with...

, or if the person (adult or child) to be confirmed is in danger of death (canon 883).

Anglicanism


Laying on of hands is part of Anglican confirmation, anointing of the sick, and other parts of liturgy and pastoral offices. The Guild of St Raphael
Guild of St Raphael
The Guild of St Raphael, founded in 1915, is a Christian organisation dedicated to promoting, supporting and practicing Christ's ministry of healing as an integral part of the life and worship of the Church. Originating from within the Anglican Communion, it has expanded to include members from...

, founded in 1915, is an organization within the Anglican church specifically dedicated to promoting, supporting and practicing Christ's ministry of healing through the laying on of hands as an integral part of the Church.
The laying on of hands is also performed in the sacrament of Holy Orders and is the means by which one is included in one of the three ordained orders of the church: bishop, priest, or deacon. Ordination can be administered only by a bishop in Apostolic Succession.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons, Latter-day Saints, LDS) and other sects in the Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

, the practice of laying on of hands is employed to confirm a person as a member of the Church and bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost, bless the sick and give counsel to those in need, to ordain members to offices in the priesthood, and to set church officers apart in their duties. In addition, a Patriarchal blessing
Patriarchal blessing
In the Latter Day Saint movement, a patriarchal blessing is a blessing or ordinance given by a patriarch to a church member. Patriarchal blessings are modeled after the blessing given by Jacob to each of his sons prior to his death...

 is given by the laying on of hands of a Patriarch
Patriarch (Mormonism)
In the Latter Day Saint movement, Patriarch is an office of the Priesthood whose main duty is to give Patriarchal blessings to church members. It is considered to be either an office of the Patriarchal Priesthood or the Melchizedek priesthood...

 to a church member.

Catharism and other Christian sects


A Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

 Perfect, the highest initiate in the Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

 hierarchy after spending time as a Listener and then Believer, had to undergo a rigorous training of three years before being inducted as a member of the spiritual elite of the now defunct religious movement. This took place during a ceremony in which various Scriptural extracts were quoted, including, most particularly, the opening verses of the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

. The ceremony was completed by a ritual laying on of hands, also known as Manisola
Manisola
The Manisola was a holiday or feast celebrated by the Cathars, a Christian religious sect that emerged during the Middle Ages in the Languedoc region of France. It was a major initiation ceremony of the Perfecti, the members of the spiritual elite according to Cathar doctrine....

, as the candidate vowed to abjure the world and accept the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

. At this point, the Perfecti believed, the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 was able to descend and dwell within the new Perfect — hence the austere lifestyle needed to provide a pure dwelling place for the Spirit. Once in this state of housing the Holy Spirit within themselves, the Perfect were believed to have become "trans-material" or semi-angelic, not yet released from the confines of the body but containing within them an enhanced spirituality which linked them to God even in this world, as expressed in the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

. The Cathars were decimated and annihilated as a sect during the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc...

 launched by the Dominican Order
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 of the Catholic Church in 1208, which killed tens of thousands of people and is considered the first recorded European genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

.

Presbyterianism


In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

, laying on of hands is used to ordain, install, and commission laypeople as officers of the church. The offices they are ordained, installed, and commissioned to hold are elder
Elder (Christianity)
An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word,...

, deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

, and minister.

State use


The laying on of hands, known as "the Divine Touch," was performed by king
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and was believed to cure scrofula
Scrofula
Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis refers to a lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes associated with tuberculosis. It was previously known as "scrofula".-The disease:...

, a name given to a number of skin diseases. The rite of the king's touch began in France with Robert II the Pious, but legend later attributed the practice to Clovis
Clovis I
Clovis Leuthwig was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul . He was the son...

 as Merovingian founder of the Holy Roman
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 kingdom, and Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 in England. The belief continued to be common throughout the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 but began to die out with the Enlightenment. Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

 was the last British monarch to claim to possess this divine ability, though the Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 pretender
Pretender
A pretender is one who claims entitlement to an unavailable position of honour or rank. Most often it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied or claimed by a rival, or has been abolished....

s also claimed to do so. The French monarchy continued to believe and perform the act up until the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. The act was usually performed at large ceremonies, often at Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 or other holy days.

See also

  • Anointing
    Anointing
    To anoint is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions. People and things are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a sacramental or divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, power or God...

  • Faith healing
    Faith healing
    Faith healing is healing through spiritual means. The healing of a person is brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents, stimulate a divine presence and power toward correcting disease and disability. Belief in divine intervention in illness or...

  • Holy anointing oil
    Holy anointing oil
    The holy anointing oil , formed an integral part of the ordination of the priesthood and the high priest as well as in the consecration of the articles of the tabernacle and subsequent temples in Jerusalem...

  • Manual therapy
    Manual therapy
    Manual therapy, manipulative therapy, or manual & manipulative therapy is a physical treatment primarily used by physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability; it most commonly includes massage therapy, joint mobilization and joint...

  • Pneumatology
    Pneumatology
    Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena, especially the interactions between humans and God.Pneuma is Greek for "breath", which metaphorically describes a non-material being or influence....

  • Priesthood blessing
    Priesthood blessing
    A priesthood blessing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a "prayer for healing, comfort or counsel given by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, who lays his hands on the head of the person receiving the blessing." Priesthood blessings are considered to be non-saving ordinances by...

  • Reiki
    Reiki
    is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. The teaching was continued and adapted by various teachers. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing as a form of complementary and alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some...

  • Spirituality
    Spirituality
    Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

  • Thaumaturgy
    Thaumaturgy
    Thaumaturgy is the capability of a saint or magician to work miracles. It is sometimes translated into English as wonderworking...


External links