The Sacrament of the Sick used to be referred to as Extreme Unction because traditionally it was conferred on those who were at the point of death. Following the Second Vatican Council, any person who is sick or facing major surgery, anyone with severe disability or struggling to cope with the frailty of old age, is encouraged to receive the Sacrament. The Sacrament can be administered anywhere the healing presence of Christ is needed. The Church teaches that one of the effects of the Anointing may be to restore bodily health but
“The First Grace of this Sacrament is one of Strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age…………………………….and the forgiveness of Sins”.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The priests of the parish attend to our sick in hospitals and at home. Many like to receive the sacrament of the sick and are strengthened and affirmed. If you would like to receive the sacrament of the sick or know someone who would, please contact any of the priests or the parish office
What Is the Sacrament of the sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is exactly what it says. It is a prayerful celebration for someone or for a group of people who are ill and are blessed by the priest with Holy Oil. It is not a sign that someone is dying as it was perceived in olden times. It is not a magical ritual; the person doesn’t automatically get better immediately after an anointing. God’s healing and loving presence are called upon that the sick person might be raised up and restored to health.
The words of blessing over the oil say it all. It is “oil intended to ease the sufferings of your people”. Oil soothes and heals. Oil blessed for the sick is a sign of the Anointed One (Messiah) of God. The person so anointed receives the healing, saving power of the One who saves (Messiah).
The oil that is used is Olive Oil. The Bishop and priests bless it at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday in the Cathedral.The holy oils are then taken each year to each parish and hospital for use throughoout the year in the Sacrament of the Sick.
A person is anointed on the forehead and the palms of the hands while the priest says: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you by the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who heals you, save you and raise you up.”
Who Can Be Anointed?
Anyone in ‘serious illness’, those who are infirm, in advanced years, or anyone prior to surgery. (It is not only for when a person is in ‘danger of death’.)
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