Anointing the Sick

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is God’s gift for those who are taking their turn at serious illness, old age, or dying. It is a Sacrament of healing, strengthening, and, when death is near, preparation, so that, when their turn on earth is over, they will look forward to meeting God.

This Sacrament gives spiritual healing and strength to a person who is seriously ill; sometimes physical recovery is granted as well. Anointing of the Sick and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are both sacraments of healing.

We encounter Christ is this Sacrament, the Good Shepherd admit our human weakness and sickness. Our Lord seeks to bring us comfort. Jesus is the Divine Physician, who heals our sin, our isolation, and, if it is God’s providence, our physical ailments as well.

The priest who administers this sacrament uses the laying on of hands, the prayers, and the Oil of the Sick. The oil is a sign of healing, strengthening, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The Church’s greatest gift to the sick is the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. The Church offers the grace of God for strength and healing. The Sacrament can be celebrated in various places with various groups of people: in the home, in a hospital, or assisted care living, or in the church.

This Sacrament works, as do all the other sacraments. It’s not magic, but God’s grace. The effects, or gifts, of this Sacrament are many, including: Union of the sick person to Christ in his Passion; strength, peace, and courage to endure the sufferings of illness or old age; forgiveness of sins; restoration of health if God wills it; Ecclesial grace of union with the Body of Christ; preparation for passing over to eternal life.

A person need NOT be in danger of death to receive the Sacrament of Anointing. This sacrament may be sought when a person gets very ill or will be undergoing a major surgery. Also, the sacrament can be received again should a person recover from illness but later get seriously sick. Do not hesitate to contact a priest should you or someone you know get seriously ill, or if there is danger of death.

 

He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by twoThey anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:7, 13)