Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church. and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:13-15)
The Anointing of the Sick—formerly known as “extreme unction” or ‘last rites’ — is no longer considered a sacrament only for those at the point of death. Instead, this healing sacrament is for all those who are facing major surgery, chronic illness, or the weakness that comes with age. Communal celebrations of the sacrament are celebrated monthly at a Mass of Anointing on the second Wednesday of each month at the regularly scheduled 11:30 a.m. Mass at the St. Joseph Mission.
Who should be anointed? When?
- The sick person is not only able to bear suffering bravely, but also to fight against it. A return to physical health may follow the reception of the sacrament if it will be beneficial to the sick person’s salvation. (Pastoral Care of the Sick #6)
- 10. A sick person may be anointed before surgery.
- 11. Elderly people may be anointed if they have become weakened even if no serious illness is present.
- 12. Sick children are to be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by this sacrament. Note: if a child has celebrated the Sacrament of Penance, they qualify.]
- 53. Those who are judged to have serious mental illness and who would be strengthened by the sacrament of anointing may be anointed.
- 13. The faithful should not follow the wrongful practice of delaying reception of the Sacrament.
- Great care and concern should be taken to see that the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age receive this Sacrament. (Pastoral Care of the Sick #8)
- “When one member of the Body of Christ suffers, all suffer.” I Cor 12:26