Anointing of the Sick
Many of us remember the days when one received the Sacrament of Anointing only once, thus the term “last rites”. Our understanding of the sacrament of anointing has developed over time; today the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick may be received multiple times. Often someone facing a serious surgery will request anointing of the sick. Some may request Anointing of the Sick when dealing with a difficult diagnosis or when their illness has progressed and treatment options change.
The Lord himself showed great concern for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the sick and commanded his followers to do likewise. The Sacrament of Anointing the Sick is intended for those who are seriously ill or elderly and in need of special help of God’s grace in a time of anxiety. The sacrament is an act of faith; the faith of the recipient who welcomes and believes the healing power of God, and the faith of the church, which looks to Christ’s death and resurrection as the source of this healing power. While we believe that physical healing is a sign of God’s kingdom, we remember that spiritual healing and physical cure are not synonymous—we may be healed by God’s grace in the absence of a physical cure.
The elderly are invited to receive this sacrament in the absence of any physical illness.
How to request Anointing of the Sick
Families are often confused about how and when to request the Sacrament of the Sick when a loved one falls ill. We encourage people to schedule Anointing of the Sick when family and friends can be present for the sacrament. If you are scheduled for surgery and would like to be anointed, please call to schedule so we might anoint before you are in the hospital. Please do not wait until the last possible moment for anointing of the sick because a priest may be unable to be present in time. Here are some guidelines:
Is the person able to attend Mass?
You may request Anointing of the Sick after any Mass. Often the priest will have time to anoint you after Mass. Call ahead so that we expect you—this insures a priest will be available for you.
Unable to attend Mass, but still at home?
We are happy to come to your home to provide this sacrament. Since juggling the schedules of family members as well as OLG staff can be difficult, we encourage you to call to schedule an anointing early.
In the Hospital?
In most cases, ask your nurse to page the on-call Priest Chaplain. Almost all hospitals have a priest chaplain assigned to the hospital to provide spiritual care and meet the sacramental needs of patients. If you would like us to come and pray with you, please alert us of which hospital you or your loved one is admitted to.
If your request is urgent and you are calling after the parish office has closed, please follow the phone instructions on the parish voice mail for reaching a priest in an emergency.
Call us here at the parish for anything that you may need 215 – 757 – 7700