The Sacrament of Anointing
For Healing and Grace
What the Bible Says
About the Sacrament of Anointing
Are any among you sick?
They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well.
– James 5:14-15
Anointing is one of the Church’s seven sacraments and is classified as one of the Sacraments of Healing. All those who are dealing with acute or chronic illness, young or old, physical or otherwise, are invited to turn to Jesus, the great miracle worker, for healing and grace.
Jesus established this special sacrament to encourage and strengthen those in need of Jesus’ healing ministry. It is a powerful and effective sacrament. The Sacrament of Anointing is no longer reserved for those nearing bodily death. For those of a certain age, this sacrament was once referred to as Extreme Unction. The Church recommends this sacrament to all those who “having reached the age of reason, are in danger of death due to sickness or old age” (Canon 1004).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: “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).
We now celebrate this sacrament more widely than in the past. It is also important to remember that the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is not simply a blessing intended for all. The celebration of this sacrament has as its end some very specific purposes and all of them united to the mystery of mortality and death. The Church encourages great generosity in the celebration of the sacrament, and demands of her ministers to be broad in the interpretation of the expression “danger of death.”
We encourage those who have the following conditions to approach this sacrament:
- Those who have been diagnosed with a serious illness or are suffering due to a significant physical ailment or have suffered an injury that is potentially life-threatening;
- Those struggling with mental illness;
- Those preparing for major surgery;
- Those whose age or physical condition has begun to limit their independence.
The sacrament may be celebrated multiple times if one of the conditions outlined above continues or if it returns after remission. It is also proper to receive the sacrament up to twice a year at our local parish Anointing Mass.
Our parish schedules two Masses each year at which the Sacrament of Anointing takes place, once in the spring and once in the fall.
To arrange a time to receive the Sacrament of Anointing, please call the Parish Office at 763-421-2471.