Anointing of the Sick
“The Lord will help them when they are sick and will restore them to health.” (Psalm 41:3)
The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has as its purpose the conferral of a special grace on the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the condition of grave illness or old age. (CCC, 1527)
The proper time for receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age. Each time a Christian falls seriously ill, he may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when, after he has received it, the illness worsens. (CCC, 1528)
The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: – the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; – the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; – the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance; – the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; – the preparation for passing over to eternal life. (CCC, 1532)
Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration, whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord’s Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the “viaticum” for “passing over” to eternal life. (CCC, 1517)
At St. Francis Parish, we provide this beautiful sacrament for members of the faithful who suffer from illness or injury. It is available to any members of the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age, or those who are to undergo surgery due to serious illness. Oftentimes, people who are to undergo surgery find themselves full of anxiety and fear. This “temptation” can be overcome by the grace received in the Sacrament of Anointing; among other prayers, there are even prayers specifically for God’s guidance of the medical staff.
Those wishing to receive this sacrament should call the church office.