Anointing of the Sick

Formerly known as Extreme Unction or the Last Rites, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is no longer restricted to those who are near death. It is now administered to the gravely ill or those who are to undergo a serious operation. The Church has begun to stress the healing qualities of the sacrament. Like the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, with which it shares a restorative nature, the Anointing of the Sick may be repeated as often as necessary.

A priest lays hands on the recipient, anointing them with blessed oil (usually olive oil blessed by the bishop) and reciting the following prayer:

"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."

If practical, the Church recommends the sacrament take place during Mass or at least be preceded by Confession and followed by Holy Communion.

The sacrament provides God's grace to resist temptation in the face of death and the grace to prepare for it. At their weakest, the recipient is placed in union with the Passion of Christ, thus making their suffering holy. If they cannot receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation then Anointing also provides for the forgiveness of sins. The nature of this wonderful sacrament is to turn the recipient away from fear toward hope. Hope in God's mercy and salvation, in His restorative power for the soul and for the body as well.

It is advisable to not wait for the "last minute" to call a priest to administer this sacrament. He may be otherwise occupied or delayed. You should make arrangements as early as practical for the priest to visit and administer this sacrament. Please contact the parish office to do so.