The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is available, not only to those who are at the point of death, but to all those who are seriously ill. The sacrament is always celebrated in the context of a community, either with family or friends, or within the parish itself.
Periodically throughout the year, a Healing Mass will be announced and publicized in the bulletin, and then celebrated either on a weekend or in the evening during the week. The Healing Prayer Team will be available after the Mass to pray with and for individuals.
Contact the parish office to arrange for this sacrament in the home or hospital.
What Does Communal Celebration Look Like?
- The Mass begins as usual. There is a welcome and then special prayers for those to be anointed. Depending on the liturgical season, the readings are from the Sunday or from the special Lectionary provided for these Masses.
- After the homily, there is a litany of prayers for those who will be anointed and for those who care for them.
- The sick then come to the altar. There the priest lays his hands on the head of the person to be anointed, recalling Jesus' own usual manner of healing: "At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them" (Luke 4:40).
- Oil is brought to the altar. A prayer is said over the oil.
- The priest makes the Sign of the Cross with the blessed oil on the sick person's forehead, saying: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit." All respond: "Amen." Then the priest anoints the palms of the sick one's hands with the Sign of the Cross: " May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up." All respond: "Amen."
- Bread and wine are brought to the Eucharistic table, and Mass continues as usual.
Anointing in a Home or Hospital
- The rite begins with the Sign of the Cross with blessed water which reminds us of our baptismal promise to die with Christ so that we might rise to new life with him.
- The readings from Scripture are adapted to the condition of the sick person. The priest prays and assures the sick person of the prayers of the parish and invites the sick person to pray for the needs of his or her fellow parishioners.
- The priest imposes hands on the head of the one to be anointed, prays over the oil and anoints the forehead and hands of the sick person.
- The priest prays for the sick person and invites all present to pray The Lord's Prayer.
- Holy Communion may be received at this time.
- The priest then blesses the sick person and all present.