ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick are the two sacraments which heal and save the baptized person from sin. We also recall that a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The sign is the anointing of the forehead and palms of the hands with oil, which was blessed on Holy Thursday, specifically for this purpose. The grace comes in varied ways, spiritually and/or physically. The question arises, “Who should be anointed?” According to the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, we include those who are undergoing surgery, the dying, the seriously ill, the elderly and those who have been anointed before if the condition worsens. The illness may be one of mind, body or soul.
Anointing of the Sick: A Parish Sacrament
“Our mission as Church is to do what Jesus did. And on nearly every page of the Gospels, we read of Jesus’ concern for the sick. Healing was essential to the mission of the disciples. In the course of time, the focus of the sacrament shifted from healing to forgiveness of sins and the time for receiving the sacrament was delayed to the deathbed when forgiveness of sins would also be the final preparation for heaven. Because of this, it received the name ‘Extreme Unction’. The Second Vatican Council wanted to remedy this situation. [It] placed the sacrament once again in the context of mutual prayer and concern described in the Epistle of James. Anointing ‘is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death’ but is intended for all those who are seriously ill.” (Excerpt from the Catholic Update entitled Anointing of the Sick: A Parish Sacrament by Fr. Thomas Richstatter)
Q: What are the conditions under which a person can receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?
A: “...the sacrament of the anointing of the sick is given to all who suffer from serious illness and infirmity.” (Catholic Catechism #1523) Included are people who suffer from addictions, those who suffer from mental disorders, people about to undergo surgery, caregivers who are seriously affected by the illness of another, etc.
“The Sacrament of Anointing does not remove the mystery of human suffering.
Yet its celebration gives us a window into the mystery of a loving God.”
If you are interested or would like more information on Anointing of the Sick, please contact the Parish Office by phone:
446-7646 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.