SACRAMENT OF HEALING | Anointing of the sick

Who should receive the sacrament?

A parishioner who is seriously ill or who is to have a serious operation ought to receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. He or she, or a relative or friend, should contact the parish office to arrange for the parish priest to visit and offer anointing.

History of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

"From ancient times in the liturgical traditions of both East and West, we have testimonies to the practice of anointings of the sick with blessed oil. Over the centuries the Anointing of the Sick was conferred more and more exclusively on those at the point of death. Because of this it received the name 'Extreme Unction'. However, the Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced… 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… 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 1499-1515
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