Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick Mass

This question, found in the New Testament Letter of James, gives the response that the sick should call for the priests of the Church who are to pray over and anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord.

Never hesitate to call our parish’s priests to ask for prayer and the Sacrament of the Sick prior to surgery or when diagnosed with serious illness. While the anointing of the sick is used in “The Last Rites” for the dying as the soul’s preparation to meet the Lord, the use of anointing for the sick is a powerful instrument of God’s healing presence. Therefore, please avail yourself of the anointing for healing and if someone is dying or near death, please call the parish for pastoral assistance and the Liturgy for the Dying, “the Last Rites”, in which anointing is also celebrated. Please avail yourself of this gift!

Also, if someone is dying or near death, please call the parish for pastoral assistance. The phone number of the rectory is 781-878-0160.

When I began as a priest the average person confined to hospital with serious illness, stayed there until recovery or death. Today with the advent of programs like Hospice and the policy of hospitals to keep even the seriously ill only for a short time, people are coming home for their last days.

Thus the practice of the Church of preparing for death through the Sacraments of Confession, Anointing and Viaticum (Last Communion) is shifting to the dying at home. Let everyone know that along with the usual visitation to the sick by both priests and lay ministers there is available for every Catholic, perhaps especially for Catholics who have lapsed from the practice of their Faith, the opportunity to enjoy the sacraments and prayers and blessings of the Church often termed “The Last Rites” as death approaches.

There is a significant responsibility on the part of family and friends of the dying not to hesitate about inviting the priest to come. Leaving the Last Rites to the last possible moment tragically denies a dying Catholic the consolations of Christ and in some cases the opportunity to die in the state of grace.

We, all of us, need to deal with our souls’ health before we leave this world. Death’s power is dissolved by Christ as He comes as Savior of our souls in the Sacraments and ministries of His Church. He says gently, “Come to me….you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11: 28-29).