Are any among you sick? They should call for the priests of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
– James 5.14-15
Why celebrate this Sacrament?
Throughout our lives, and especially as we grow older, we may experience periods of poor health. When these moments are marked with a greater seriousness, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick can offer both spiritual and physical healing.
In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, we encounter Jesus who heals and consoles us by offering us the presence of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in body, mind and spirit during our time of illness. Our trust and faith in God are renewed and our suffering is united to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
Who should receive this Sacrament?
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is for:
- the elderly whose frailty is becoming more pronounced;
- adults and children who are suffering from a major illness, are facing major surgery, or have suffered a serious accident; and,
- those who suffer from chronic illness or who suffer from a serious mental illness.
From this list, it is clear that the Anointing of the Sick is not meant to be celebrated before imminent death. Its proper celebration at the beginning and during illness and times of suffering and pain, recalls our hope in God’s promise to be with us always and provides us with the strength and consolation of the Holy Spirit to face our suffering with courage.
When is this Sacrament Celebrated?
When possible, the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated in the presence of family and friends.
The Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated more than once, usually at the beginning of the illness and when the illness intensifies. If the illness has persisted for a long time, do not wait until the final moments before death to contact the parish priest.
A request for the Anointing of the Sick can be made at any time by calling the Parish Office.