Healing ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God, 1946

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Healing "laying on of hands" ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

Healing “laying on of hands” ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

Faith healing refers to notably overt and ritualistic practices of communal prayer and gestures (such as laying on of hands) that are claimed to solicit divine intervention in initiating spiritual and literal healing. Believers assert that the healing of a person can be brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents, stimulate a divine presence and power toward healing disease and disability. Belief in divine intervention in illness or healing is related to religious belief. Faith healing is claimed healing through supernatural or spiritual means.
Christian laying on of hands is used in Christianity as both a symbolic and formal method of invoking the Holy Spirit primarily during baptisms and confirmations, healing services, blessings, and ordination of priests, ministers, elders, deacons, and other church officers, along with a variety of other church sacraments and holy ceremonies.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:16-18

Pentecostalism/Charismatic movement. At the beginning of the 20th century, the new Pentecostal movement drew participants from the Holiness movement and other movements in America that already believed in divine healing. By the 1930s, several faith healers drew large crowds and established worldwide followings.
Pentecostal Christians believe that the laying on of hands can have curative properties, based on biblical precedent set by Jesus, 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.
Sources:
Wikipedia: Faith healing
Wikipedia: Christian laying on of hands
Wikipedia: Laying on of hands

Hands of Healing

Hands of Healing

For more see my other post:
Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God, 1946

 

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