“Is there anyone sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church.”
About Anointing of the Sick
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commend those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.”
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 also sought the recovery of the anointed person, according to God’s will. The Sign is the laying on of hands by a priest or bishop, and anointing with blessed oil, which must come from the olive tree or another plant. The sign was instituted by Christ and is found in all the many cures enacted by Christ in the Gospels. The apostolic recommendation is most clearly found in the Letter of James [James 5: 13-15.]
This sacrament gives one Grace, spiritual wellness, the forgiveness of sins, and the possibility of physical healing. One receives the particular gift of the Holy Spirit while one’s suffering is united to that of Christ. Grace is conferred by the prayer of the Church, offering spiritual strength and courage. This sacrament also prepares one for the final journey … death.
Guidelines for Anointing of the Sick
- Eligibility: The reception of the sacrament presumes that the individual is already baptized and at least seven years of age, having achieved the age of reason.
- 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 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 always is 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 call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- 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.
- In an emergency, please call the Rectory Office at (813) 885-7861.