Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two… They anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them

(Mark 6:7, 13)

Anointing of the Sick
By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole community commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.  And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church and CCC 1499).

Jesus the Healer
Jesus was concerned not only about people’s spiritual health but also their physical health. By healing people’s bodies as well as their souls, Jesus showed that the entire human body is touched by God’s salvation. The Gospel of Mark (see 6:13) makes it clear that Jesus shared his healing ministry with his apostles. And in the First Letter of James (see 5:14-15), he tells us of the early church’s ministry to the sick including anointing with oil, prayer and forgiveness of sins. The priest prays for the individual while touching him/her which symbolizes and confers the giving of the special grace of the Holy Spirit. As the individual is being anointed with oil it is absorbed into the skin, so does the Holy Spirit “enter” the person; claiming, empowering, enlivening and rejuvenating in the name of Jesus.

The Rite of Anointing today is much the same as in the early church. It is important to note that this sacrament is encouraged for all who are afflicted in some way by a serious health issue. If you need to receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick prior to surgery or especially in the case of an emergency or imminent death, contact the parish office at 733-561-5100A priest is always on duty to receive emergency calls after regular office hours.

The Rite of the Anointing of the Sick
The Second Vatican Council, in one of its first acts, declared that a better name for extreme unction as the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.  The bishops taught that this sacrament “is not a sacrament only for those who are at the point of death, hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness, old age, or any kind of serious illness… the fitting time for him/her to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.”

The revised rite of the sacrament provides for opportunities for the sacrament to be celebrated individually, in a special group such as a group of residents in a nursing home, and in a larger communal celebration during a special Mass in the parish.  Of course, the sacrament is still celebrated at the bedside of a person who is seriously ill and near death.  At times, the celebration of the sacraments is preceded by a celebration of the sacrament of penance and reconciliation and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist (CCC 1517).  Regardless of where and with whom the sacrament is celebrated, it consists of the proclamation of the Word of God, an act of repentance, the laying on of hands, and the anointing with the blessed oil of the infirmed.

Pastoral Concerns
Even though most people today are becoming more accustomed to the fact that the sacrament of the anointing of the sick is not for the dying alone, the sacrament of anointing of the sick is not meant to be a devotional practice for those who feel a need simply for healing.

 

The Mass of the Anointing of the Sick is at 6:30 P.M. on

  1. August 18, 2017
  2. November 17, 2017

For more information please contact Parish: (763) 561-5100.