Anointing of the Sick
Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. (James 5: 14-15)
One of the Church’s Sacraments of Healing, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has had a long and confusing history. Some, unfortunately, still think of it as something the Church does just moments prior to physical death as a sort of “last rites”. This is far from the truth. Each time a Christian falls seriously ill, he may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when, after he has received it, the illness worsens the Sacrament maybe received again.
In the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays that the person be freed from illness, or, if that is not possible, that the person receive the strength of faith to endure the suffering they are experiencing. In identifying with the suffering of Jesus on the cross, we pray that the person will also identify with the resurrection of Jesus from death to life. Also, there is strength and comfort present for the person to feel connected to the community of God’s people, who pray with and for them.
The Sacrament of Anointing is celebrated at Saint Peter Parish at 4:00 PM Mass on the first Saturday of the month, and anytime by arrangement. For more information please call the parish at 508-746-0663.
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.
- the preparation for passing over to eternal life.