Anointing of the Sick
"Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders (presbyters) of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven." James 5:14-15
What is the Anointing of the Sick?
As Catholics, we are asked to see our sufferings as a way of being united with the sufferings of Christ.
The Anointing of the Sick is a prayer of healing, not only for our physical healing, but also for spiritual health, and for the strength, peace, and courage to bear the burden of illness. The Anointing of the Sick also imparts the forgiveness of sins, and therefore can only be administered by a priest or bishop.
In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the physically or spiritually ill, injured, or elderly with the Oil of the Sick. The Oil of the Sick is one of the three Holy oils blessed by the bishop of the diocese at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week.
In giving the sacrament, the priest anoints the sick person on the forehead and hands. During this anointing, the priest says: “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.”
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, once referred to as Extreme Unction, may be celebrated individually and communally. Anointing of the Sick sometimes occurs in a church and is given to the sick or elderly in a community setting. It often takes place in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. The belief that the Anointing of the Sick should be received only in the moments before death, is a misconception. The sacrament may be received more than once, such as when a sick person's condition worsens. It is often received:
Before surgery, or a serious medical procedure.
During a long-term or terminal illness.
When experiencing health issues related to old age.
The Anointing of the Sick at the Parish of St. Timothy
At the Parish of St. Timothy, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is administered to those wishing to receive it, during weekday mass the first Thursday of every month. See the parish calendar for the next opportunity to receive this sacrament.
You may also request to receive this sacrament by contacting Fr. Chrys directly at 204-257-3723 or Fr.Chrys@st-timothy.ca.
What does the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick do?
"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."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph # 1532)
For those who are about to die, the Church, in addition to the Anointing of the Sick, offers the Eucharist as viaticum – spiritual nourishment for their journey home.
"Thus, just as the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist form a unity called "the sacraments of Christian initiation, so too it can be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as viaticum constitute at the end of Christian life the sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland or the sacraments that complete the earthly pilgrimage." (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph # 1525)
It is best to contact a priest as soon as possible so that the priest can attend to the person promptly, rather than wait until the last minute.