The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
This Sacrament is conferred upon those who because of illness or old age are in danger of death. Jesus instituted this Sacrament by giving example through the many healings he performed. During the physical healing, Jesus also healed the spirit of the one who was ailing. (Mk 2:5-12, Mk 7: 32-36, Mk 36:9-23)
'Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. " (CCC 1500)
Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes-even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him. ' (CCC 1501)
A single sick person or several persons may receive this Sacrament. If it is possible, the Sacrament of Confession may take place before. The priest anoints forehead and the hands with the Oil of the Sick and says, "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up." He then administers Holy Communion. In this special case, Communion is called" viaticum" which means "go with you" - Jesus goes with the sick on their passing over to the heavenly Father.
The special graces of the Sacrament of the Sick are:
- It unites the sick person to the passion of Christ for his own good and the good of the whole Church;
- It gives spiritual strength, peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of sickness or old age;
- The forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the Sacrament of Confession;
- The restoration of health if it is helpful for the salvation of his soul;
- The preparation for the passing over to heaven.
Read "Understanding the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick" (PDF), an eight page document produced by the Archdiocese's Office of Lay Ministry and Chaplaincy. WARNING: This document requires Adobe Acrobat to read. Also, this document is 212kb and may take some time to download on a dial-up connection.
If you or one of your loved ones would like to receive the Anointing of the Sick, please contact the Parish Office 416-489-1540.