Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is for the spiritual comfort, strength and healing of the ill. Please notify the church office at (301) 373-2281 when you or another parishioner would like to receive this Sacrament. Be sure to let them know the name of the person wanting to receive, a phone number where he/she can be reached, and where the sacrament is to be received. The Sacrament can be performed in the church, at the sick person's home, at the hospital, or any other appropriate place.
It should be noted that the sacrament is not just for those who are gravely ill. It is also entirely appropriate for any elderly person or person about to undergo major surgery to receive this sacrament.
If you have any questions about who can receive this sacrament, please contact the rectory to speak to the pastor.
ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK
- "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 is prefigured by Jesus' many miraculous healings of the sick, blind, deaf, and lame during his life on earth. Like Jesus, who used signs to heal, such as spittle (Mk 7: 33), mud (Jn 9: 6), washing (Jn 9: 7), and the laying on of hands (Mk 8: 23), the sacrament uses laying on of hands and blessed oil.
- The sacrament also has a clear basis in the writings of the apostles. "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him." (Js 5: 14-15)
- A priest or a bishop may perform the sacrament.
- The matter of the sacrament is anointing with blessed oil; the form is the words "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen. May the Lord, who frees your spirit from sin, save you and raise you up. Amen."
- The effects of this sacrament are fourfold:
First, there is the gift of the Holy Spirit, a special grace of "strengthening, peace, and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age." (CCC #1520)
Second, there is the gift of union with Jesus' redemptive Passion, which allows the suffering of the person receiving the sacrament to become a participation in the saving work of Jesus. "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church." (Col 1: 24)
Third, there is an "ecclesial grace," which consists of the Church in heaven and on earth interceding for the sick person, while the sick person himself "contributes to the sanctification of the Church and to the good of all men." (CCC #1522)
Fourth, the sacrament prepares a person at the point of death for the final journey, "[completing] the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life" and "[completing his] conformity to the death and Resurrection of Christ, just as Baptism began it." (CCC #1523)
- The sacrament can be received more than once. "If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated." (CCC #1515)
- It must be noted that, as the Catechism points out, "even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses." (CCC #1508) As the Lord said to St. Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my power is made perfect in infirmity." (2 Cor 12: 9)
When even prayer does not serve to heal us, we should say with St. Paul, "I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12: 9-10)
"I want to know more about who can receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick."
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