Sacraments of the Catholic Church
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Sacrament of Marriage
Sacrament of the Sick
Sacrament of the Sick
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, for example major surgery, chronic illness, or impending death, 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. In the Anointing, the Oil of the Sick is used. This holy oil is blessed once a year by the Bishop and is used in each parish throughout the Diocese. It signifies the healing and strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the sick person.
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. The Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated more than once, usually at the beginning of the illness and whenever the illness has intensified.
How is this Sacrament celebrated?
It is preferable, when possible, to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick with the presence of family and friends. The following is a brief outline of the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick:
1. Introductory Rites. The celebration opens with a greeting, a sprinkling with holy water and the penitential rite.
2. Liturgy of the Word. All present then hear and respond to God’s Word as proclaimed in Sacred Scripture. The priest may also share a few words to explain the meaning of the Sacrament to those present.
3. Liturgy of Anointing. This rite opens with the prayer of faith, laying on of hands by the priest, a prayer over the oil, the anointing, a prayer after the anointing, and the Lord’s Prayer.
4. Concluding Rite. The celebration concludes with a blessing.
When is this Sacrament Celebrated?
A special Mass with the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated in our Parish once a year usually in the Spring. In most cases, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated upon request, by either calling the Parish Office or filling out a “Sick Call Request” Form found in the sacristy of the church.
In Danger of Death
In the case of impending death, the Sacraments of Reconciliation and of Viaticum (Holy Communion) and the giving of the Apostolic Pardon may also be celebrated along with the Anointing. If this is the case, a family member should call for the priest immediately.
Outside of normal office hours, if the parish priest cannot be reached, please contact the “Priest-on-call” by making this request at the hospital switchboard or at the nursing station.
A Prayer for the Sick
Jesus our Lord, we ask you to have mercy on all who are sick. Give them your strength and love, and help them to carry this cross with faith. May their sufferings overcome the power of evil and lead others to our Father in heaven. We ask this in the power of your Name who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.
“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