‘Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the presbyters of the Church and let these pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.’ (James 5:14-15)
The Anointing of the Sick is a beautiful celebration in which a person who is sick or about to undergo an operation, or who has grown frail through old age, seeks the healing power of God.
The healing promised in this sacrament can come in many forms: it may indeed be a physical healing, a restoration to full health. It may be a temporary healing, a respite, in which the sick person recovers for a time perhaps to be able to make peace with family and friends. It is often a spiritual healing, in which the sick person is united to the Passion of Jesus Christ himself, given courage and patience in the face of suffering. We trust in God to decide which type of healing is conducive to the salvation of the sick person.
During the celebration, which can be during Mass or more often at a person’s home (or in a hospital or institution), the sick person together with the priest and any relatives, friends or carers present, listen first to the Word of God. After this they pray together for those who are sick and those who dedicate their lives to caring for the sick. The priest will lay his hands on the sick person’s head in silent prayer and then anoint him/her on the forehead and the palm of each hand.
‘Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up.’
Anointing of the Sick is available upon request. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time for its celebration.
Each year there is also a celebration of this sacrament within Mass in the parish. The newsletter will have details of these as they arise.