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The Sacrament of the Sick

This is only bestowed upon those who are seriously ill or suffering, which then unites them with the suffering inflicted on Christ at his Passion.

“Are there people among you sick? Let them send for the priests of the Church and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them. ”

(James 5:14-15).

Questions about the sacrAment of sick:

This sacrament unites those who are suffering with the saving and healing power of Jesus. Through this sacrament the infirm and those people who are physically or mentally unwell receive forgiveness for their sins and comfort in their suffering; they are restored in spirit; and sometimes they even experience the return of physical health. Suffering is a part of life, but Jesus unites our suffering with his passion and death so that we can participate in his divine life and mission. The sacrament also reminds us that God wants to give comfort to the suffering and wants us to relieve suffering where we can.

The priest anoints the seriously ill, injured or the elderly with the oil of the sick which has been blessed by the Bishop during Holy Week. The priest anoints the sick person on the forehead, saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” He also anoints the sick person on the hands, saying, “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. Amen.” The “raising” refers to spiritual healing, as well as any physical healing that may take place.

In addition to the anointing, the sick person is often offered Holy Communion, the bread of life. When a person is dying, this Holy Communion is called viaticum (“on the way with you”) as we pray that the person will now journey with Jesus to the Heavenly Father and eternal life.

Anointing sometimes occurs in a church and is given to the sick or elderly in a community setting.  But more usually, it takes place in homes, nursing homes and hospitals. For example, a person who is going to have surgery may be anointed.

The sacrament may be received more than once, for example, when a sick person’s condition worsens.

Please let us know if you or a loved one are admitted to the hospital and/or are in danger of death, so that a priest may come to visit you and celebrate this Sacrament with you as soon as possible. Contact Clergy House for more details

If you are in a hospital, please ask to see the Catholic chaplain.

Additionally, if you are preparing for any serious surgery or are suffering from any serious illness please contact the parish office and ask for the Sacrament of the Sick. Contact Clergy House for more details