Anointing of the Sick

In times of illness and suffering, the Catholic Church offers the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. This beautiful tradition celebrates our faith in Christ’s healing touch and continues his mission of compassion for the hurting.

Who can receive this Sacrament?

Anyone struggling with a serious illness, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. You don’t have to be near death to receive this gift. In fact, it’s encouraged to receive it before surgery or treatment, while you’re still strong enough to fully participate in the experience.

This communal ritual involves::

  • Blessing with holy water reminds us of our baptismal promise of new life through Christ.
  • Scripture readings are tailored to the individual’s condition and offer comfort.
  • Reconciliation (Confession) is optional but can be incorporated within the Anointing ceremony.
  • The priest anoints the forehead and hands of the sick person with blessed oil, offering a tangible sign of God’s grace.
  • Holy Communion may be offered to provide spiritual nourishment.
  • The priest concludes the Anointing ceremony with a blessing for the sick person and all present.

Does healing always mean a physical cure?

Not necessarily. While we pray for physical healing, the Sacrament offers something deeper: forgiveness, comfort, and hope. God knows what type of healing we need most, whether it’s easing anxieties, mending emotional wounds, turning fears into hope, embracing loneliness, or finding clarity in confusion.

What if death is near?

If the patient has not yet been anointed and death is imminent, the priest should be called to offer this Sacrament for spiritual healing and comfort. If conscious, the patient can also receive the last Holy Communion (Viaticum) as spiritual food for their final journey.

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is a powerful source of comfort and hope in times of illness and suffering. It reminds us that we are not alone, that God is with us, and that his healing touch extends far beyond the physical realm.

Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 5:14–15

Need more information?

For more information about this sacrament, please contact your local priest or one of our hospital chaplains.

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