Anointing of the Sick

  • The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

    The Catholic sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.  By the Anointing of the Sick and the prayer of her priests, the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, asking that He may lighten their suffering and save them.

    Anyone, regardless of age, can receive this Sacrament if his or her health is seriously impaired.  It can also be administered before surgery, and can be received more than once if the original illness gets worse or if another serious sickness is diagnosed.  It should be requested in those times of serious illness, no matter whether physical, mental, or spiritual, when we need a special sign of God's love and care.  If someone is in danger of death due to illness, injury, accident or old age, it is especially appropriate for that person to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

    Fr. Jim is available to anoint anyone with a serious illness, or who has upcoming surgery or tests.  Since priests are not visiting hospitals on a routine basis to visit the sick, only in emergencies or near death, Fr. Jim suggests you plan ahead and see him after any of the Masses for a special anointing. Please do not delay in calling the parish office to make prompt arrangements for a priest to come and administer this Sacrament, whether at home or in the hospital.

    Is anyone among you sick?   He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up.                            (James 5: 14-15)

  • What the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about Anointing of the Sick

    "Heal the sick!" The Church has received this charge from the Lord and strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick as well as by accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. She believes in the life-giving presence of Christ, the physician of souls and bodies. This presence is particularly active through the sacraments, and in an altogether special way through the Eucharist, the bread that gives eternal life and that St. Paul suggests is connected with bodily health.  (CCC 1509)

    However, the apostolic Church has its own rite for the sick, attested to by St. James: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders [presbyters] of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." Tradition has recognized in this rite one of the seven sacraments.  (CCC 1510)

    The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick: This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord.   (CCC 1511)