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Laying on of hands
Question from Brian Vogrinc on 3/18/2002:

What can you tell me about the idea of laying on of hands. Is it biblical? Can Catholic lay people do it to other lay people? What does it mean? Is it Catholic in tradition or does it come from more from a Penecostal or Evangelical type tradition?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 3/27/2002:

The laying on of hands is a sign used in a number of the sacraments, most particularly in ordination. It has been used in this manner since the first century and signifies the invoking of God's blessing on the person on whom hands are laid.

Catholic lay people cannot administer any of the sacraments that involve the laying on of hands, therefore they cannot do it sacramentally.

Some Catholics do lay hands on others while praying for healing, though this is not a sacrament and must not be confused with one. The latter practice has been especially popularized through the Pentecostal movement.

James Akin

Catholic Answers

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