Anointing of the Sick

Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Anointing of the Sick

In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.

~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults 

Who may receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
Excerpt from EWTN, Full Article Can Be Viewed Here

Canon 998
The anointing of the sick by which the Church commends to the suffering and glorified Lord the faithful who are dangerously sick so that He relieve and save them, is conferred by anointing them with oil and using the words prescribed in the liturgical books.

Canon 1004
1. The anointing of the sick can be administered to a member of the faithful who, after having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age.

2. This sacrament can be repeated whenever the sick person again falls into a serious sickness after convalescence or whenever a more serious crisis develops during the same sickness.

These canons can be summarized as follows. Those who satisfy three conditions may be anointed:

1. A baptized Catholic,

2. Reached the age of reason,

3. Begun to be in danger from illness or the infirmities of age, or have become sick again or underwent a further crisis. It should be noted that the danger need only have begun to exist. The person does not have to be "in extremis" (in imminent danger of dying). This is a change from the pastoral practice before the Second Vatican Council.

The ritual gives the following examples:

  • Those who are dangerously ill through sickness or old age;
  • A sick person...before surgery whenever the surgery is necessitated by a dangerous illness;
  • Elderly people...if they are weak, though not dangerously ill;
  • Sick children...sufficiently mature to be comforted by the sacrament;
  • Sick people who have lost consciousness or who have lost the use of reason...if...they would have requested it if they had been in possession of their faculties."

If you or a loved one is in need of this Sacrament, please notify the Parish Office (701.252.0119) and a priest will come for a pastoral visit.