Anointing of the Sick
“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church 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.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church N0. 1499
The Rite of Anointing of the Sick tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
‘When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.”
– from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
The Anointing of the Sick used to be known as the “Last Rites” or “Extreme Unction” because it involved the dying person and the priest in a rite of departure from this life into the next life with God. Today this Sacrament can be given to anyone who is ill or aged as well as before facing major surgeries or chronic treatments. This anointing remains the sign of a God who has sustained us through life and will be with us in our eventual journey to Him in heaven.
If you are a parishioner at Holy Family and desire to receive the Sacrament of Anointing, please contact the Parish office. A priest will be called to administer this Sacrament wherever is needed.