Christ, understanding human illness, gave his Church the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick so all the baptized can access and experience his healing Spirit. This sacrament of mercy and healing is administered to the dying as well as to those who are gravely ill or about to undergo a serious operation. The Sacrament of Anointing offers prayers for recovery, but primarily gives spiritual healing and the Holy Spirit’s peace and courage for the difficulties of illness or the frailty of old age.
Anointing is not to be delayed for any serious illness or operation. A person who has been anointed does not need to be anointed again within the same illness. It is also important to be prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation when receiving the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (if they are able).
When to call a priest:
- Diagnosis of serious disease: call parish to come in and meet with priest.
- Terminal Diagnosis: call parish to come in and meet with priest.
- Homebound: call parish to schedule a visit within a given week.
- For the integrity of the sacrament the priest will hear the confession of the person to be anointed.
In the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
If you have lost a loved one, please contact your parish office or find a parish near you so we can assist you in the funeral. You may also visit Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services.