Anointing of the Sick
The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil—pressed from olives or from other plants—saying, only once: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1513)
Anointing of the Sick includes (CCC 1519):
- The laying on of hands by the priest.
- Prayer over the person “in the faith of the Church.”
- Anointing with oil blessed by the bishop.
This sacrament has a powerful effect upon the sick person (CCC 1520-21):
- Strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age”
- “Healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God's will.
- Forgiveness of sin.
- “Union with the passion of Christ.” One’s suffering becomes “a participation in the saving work of Jesus.”
- Allows the sick person, by their suffering, to "contribute to the good of the People of God," building up the holiness of the Church and all people.
- “A preparation for the final journey.”
This sacrament is primarily intended for any who suffer from serious or chronic physical or emotional illness or who struggle with the infirmities of age. One need not be in danger of death nor does the Church anoint one who has already died.
Pastoral Care of the Sick
The priests and lay ministers of the parish are interested in visiting parishioners when they are in the hospital. However, hospitals no longer automatically inform parishes when a parishioner is admitted. We will be able to visit only if we know you are in a hospital. It is most helpful to us when you or a family member notifies the Parish Office.
Communion for the Sick
Holy Communion is brought once a week to those who are sick or unable to go to church on a regular basis. If you or a family member wants to receive communion at home, in an assited living or nursing home on a regular or temporary basis, please call the parish office.
If you are scheduled to go to the hospital for surgery or extended care, contact the rectory BEFORE you go, in order to arrange for the celebration of the Sacrament. This sacrament is for the sick or the chronically ill as well as for those who are near death.
The Sacrament of the Sick is celebrated at Mass for all of those who need the grace of healing and hope provided in this sacrament. This is typically the 2nd Thursday of March at 10am.
In Case Of Death
Although the Church does not anoint one who has already died, priests may be invited to minister to the family and lead the prayers at the time of death as provided by the Church.
Why Should You be Anointed Before Going to the Hospital?
While patients and hospital staff can, very fortunately, call for the sacramental and pastoral services of a Catholic priest while in the hospital, a new fact of hospital life today is that patients are often very swiftly in and out of treatment. It is possible that the priest will not be able to see you as soon as you wish.
Therefore, it is better for you to talk to a priest here in our parish before you go to the hospital and receive those sacraments that are available for those facing surgery, serious illness, or old age: Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, and the Eucharist.
In addition, the priests as well as the members of our parish who are involved in our hospital care-giving ministry and home visitation will know about your illness and will be able to visit and support you through your recovery.
Many people tend to deny that they are sick and in need of prayers. This is a very human response. However, it keeps sufferers from receiving what they need and deserve – and what the Church is ready to offer.
There is a special communion rite, called Viaticum, and special prayers reserved for people close to death, but the other rites of pastoral care for the sick are intended for those who are seriously ill, facing surgery, or struggling with the frailties of old age.
Finally, your attitude during sickness or suffering will be helped by your stronger identification with Christ. Sickness is not a total disaster. If we turn to God with our complaints and fears, letting God answer us in God’s own way, and if we cooperate with those who can help us, then any sickness can end in God’s glory and prepare us for greater happiness.