ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the sacrament in this way: “The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness...”(CCC1511).
We find the instruction to anoint the sick in the Book of James in the New Testament:
“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).
The anointing gives both spiritual and, if it be in accord with God’s will, physical healing. The recipient’s sins are forgiven and they are strengthened by prayers. The rite of anointing may be a simple ceremony with the individual at home, in a hospital or healthcare facility, or may be incorporated into a Mass or in a group setting. The rite includes anointing on the forehead and palms of the hand with blessed oil. The anointing is commonly celebrated in the context of the reception of Holy Communion and, if appropriate, of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Frequently asked questions
Who can be anointed?
The sacrament is offered to Catholics who are seriously ill who have attained at least the ‘age of reason’. Anointing of the Sick is not only reserved for those near death. The Church recognises the benefit of this sacrament for anyone who is seriously ill, may be undergoing a serious operation or, due to old age, may be in a frail condition. The Sacrament of Anointing may also be repeated for a prolonged illness or anytime deemed appropriate by the priest.
How do I arrange for Anointing of the Sick?
Going into hospital?
It has become increasingly difficult for Fr Roger the Chaplain of Heartlands and Solihull hospitals to obtain details of Catholic patients admitted into hospital in order to visit them. If you are going into hospital and wish to to receive the Sacraments, please make sure that a request is made to nursing staff either by yourself or by a member of your family or friend. Fr Jonathan & Fr Alex are unable to routinely visit because of the Pandemic restrictions. However both of us support Fr Roger each week with emergency on call cover.