“Is there anyone sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church.”
|The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1499 states: “By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she [the Church] exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” [quoting from Lumen Gentium, Vatican II.]
Anointing of the Sick serves to strengthen those who are being tried by illness or advanced age. The sacrament, though long relegated to the moments prior to death, always sought also the recovery of the anointed person, according to God’s will. We understand the notion of being in danger of death in a much more liberal but realistic manner than might have been the case 50 years ago. The reception of the sacrament presumes that the individual is already baptized and at least seven years of age, that is, having achieved the age of reason. Generally one would not anoint a child below seven years of age. The Sign: the laying on of hands by a priest or bishop, and anointing with blessed oil. The oil must come from olive or another plant. Normally the oil is blessed by the bishop at the yearly Chrism Mass, but may also be blessed by any priest for a given ceremony. Instituted by Christ: found in all the many cures enacted by Christ in the Gospels. Laying on of hands, or some other touch was common in healing/miracle stories. The apostolic recommendation is most clearly found in the Letter of James [James 5: 13-15.]
To give Grace: Spiritual wellness, forgiveness of sins, and the possibility of physical healing. One receives the particular gift of the Holy Spirit; one’s suffering is united to that of Christ; one receives the grace conferred by the prayer of the Church; it confers spiritual strength and courage; and it prepares one for the final journey … death.
The Forms and Times for the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick
Combined Rites: Reconciliation, Anointing and Eucharist: The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick may be given in various circumstances and in a variety of combinations with other Sacraments. In a home or hospital visit, it may be combined with the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation, and reception of the Eucharist. By itself, it may be given to a person no longer conscious. The Sacrament may also be offered communally as part of a Mass in which healing is central to the prayers of the community.
Repeatability of the Sacrament: The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick may be repeated as is necessary. This is especially true where an illness becomes more serious or death more imminent, if the individual recovers and then becomes ill again, or in the case of a prolonged or lingering illness.
Viaticum: the true Last Sacrament of the Christian. Anointing of the Sick for those in danger of death is appropriate, but the most important sacrament is always the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist is truly the food for the last journey, and should be offered to the dying whenever possible. The Eucharist prepares us for our heavenly homeland … the final journey in our early pilgrimage.
|A parish priest is on 24 hour call in cases of emergency. Holy Communion is brought to the sick and shut ins by the Pastoral Minister and his/her assistants every week. Our priests visit the shut ins once each month. Town ‘n Country Hospital and Woodbridge Nursing Home are covered by our priests and Eucharistic Ministers. Please inform the Rectory Office when a relative or friend enters hospital or is unable to attend Mass due to illness.
Communal Celebrations of the Sacrament of Anointing are held during the Liturgical Seasons of Advent and Lent. Please refer to our Parish Bulletin for information.
In emergency, please call the Rectory Office at (813) 885-7861.