“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” (CCC 1499)
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick/Viaticum is meant for anyone with a serious illness. It is appropriate for anyone who is scheduled for surgery, has been diagnosed with a serious illness or whose illness progresses or another develops, or is on death’s doorstep.
Our historic reference for being anointed comes from the Letter of James:
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).
While Jesus (and the Apostles) performed miraculous healings, the Anointing of the Sick should not be seen as simply asking for physical healing. When we are sick, we may suffer physically , mentally and spiritually. The act of anointing with oil is a sign of strengthening. In this understanding, the Anointing of the Sick – while our prayers may include asking for a miracle – the sacrament is about strengthening and knowing that God is with us granting us peace, love, and grace.
So, if you or your loved face a serious illness, please call our parish office, and one of our priests would be happy to administer the Anointing of the Sick.
Here are prayer resources for those who are ill: Prayers for those who are in need of strength
Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the “sin of the world,”. Of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion. (CCC 1505)