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Offices Worship Sacraments Anointing of the Sick

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Anointing of the Sick

The Anointing of the Sick is the proper sacrament for those Christians whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. It may be celebrated in the home, hospital or institution, or church.

The second sacrament of healing, the Anointing of the Sick, "is the proper sacrament for those Christians whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. It may be celebrated in the home, hospital or institution, or church " (Rites, Pastoral Care of the Sick, Chapter VI no. 97). This sacrament is another of the repeatable sacraments; that is, the sacrament may be worthily received more than once, and should not be delayed when there is need for the sacrament. "Through the sacrament of anointing the Church supports the sick in their struggle against illness and continues Christ's messianic work of healing" (Ibid, no. 98). Saint James writes, "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the priests of the church , and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up." (James 5:14-15)

The priest prays for and with the sick person, and with members of the sick person's family and/or parish community. Then, the priest lays hands on the sick person, in the ancient sign of calling down the Holy Spirit. The priest then anoints the forehead and the hands of the sick person with the Oil of the Sick, consecrated for his purpose every year during the Chrism Mass, and prays the prayer of anointing: "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" (Rites, Pastoral Car of the sick, Chapter VI no. 97

The Church encourages any who are sick or suffering in body, mind or spirit, those who are preparing for surgery, those who are chronically or terminally ill, and those who suffer the infirmities of old age to contact their parish priest and make arrangements to receive the comfort and grace of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

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