Anointing of the Sick
Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the presbyters of the church.
They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore
him to health. If he has committed any sins, forgiveness will be his. (James 5:14–15)
In the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults)
Some frequently asked questions about the sacrament:
Q: Who should receive the Anointing of the Sick?
A: Anyone who is ill, about to have or has had surgery, the chronically ill, those suffering terminal or other illnesses.
Q: When should the sacrament of the sick be administered?
A: It is not necessary to wait until a person is dying before calling a priest. The Anointing of the Sick “is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death” (CCC 1514).
Q: I have been anointed in the past, and I am ill again. May I be anointed again?
A: If some time has passed and you are experiencing another illness, you may receive the sacrament again.
At Church of the Visitacion, Anointing of the Sick is available upon request. Please call the Rectory Office at (415) 494-5517.