What: In order to assist the sick in their need, Jesus established the Anointing of the Sick as one of the seven sacraments of His Church. “Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray for them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them” (James 5:14).
Who: The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is offered to all persons who are facing a serious illness or medical condition. In the scriptures, oil is a symbol of vitality, and its use in this sacrament represents the strengthening we pray the sick person will receive from God. In addition to healing, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick also accomplishes the forgiveness of sin. Thus only a priest may perform it.
When: The Sacrament of Anointing is available any time by appointment. It is also celebrated communally each year at St. Mary’s at a special Sunday Mass near the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (Feb. 11). This Mass is announced in the Parish Bulletin, and sponsored by the Religious Education Program.
Important: This sacrament should be request as soon as a Catholic is aware of any serious illness or upcoming surgery. It is a sacrament of healing – in fact it is the Church’s most powerful prayer for strengthening of body, mind, and spirit. Just as you would not wait to give medicine to a sick person, neither should the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick be withheld. The day a diagnosis is made is the very day that the sacrament should be requested, so that through it the grace of Christ might come flooding forth upon the sick person.
Contact: To arrange to be anointed, please call 508-429-4427.