September 10, 2017
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Anointing of the Sick
Who can receive the anointing of the sick? When should they receive this sacrament? Is it only for the dying? These are great questions that priests often get, so let’s talk about this important sacrament.
James 5:14-15 says: “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the priests of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.”
The rite for the anointing of the sick says that this sacrament is “for those Christians whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.” In other words, this sacrament is not only for those who are dying, but for all who are seriously sick. This includes those facing a major surgery, those struggling with serious mental health issues, those experiencing severe chronic pain or health issues, even if they are non-life threatening.
Anointing of the sick is called a sacrament of healing. This healing is primarily spiritual, though sometimes the Lord also allows for a physical healing. This sacrament also is intended to show the support of the Church for those who are sick, and their unity with Jesus in his passion.
This sacrament also has the power of forgiving sins. It is preferable for someone who will be anointed to go to confession beforehand if possible, since confession is the primary sacrament of forgiveness of sins. However, even if someone is unconscious or unable to speak, anointing of the sick has the power of forgiveness of sins.
Additionally, as part of the anointing of the sick for the dying (which used to be called Extreme Unction), there is a special prayer called the Apostolic Pardon, by which the Church, in the name of Christ, releases the soul from all punishments in this life and in the life to come. It is a very powerful prayer!
Finally, a sick person who recovers after being anointed should give special thanks to God, especially by participating in a Mass of thanksgiving.
If you know someone who is gravely ill please call me. And don’t wait until the last minute! Often times people will call the priest as a dying person is taking their last breath, however, anointing ought to be administered long before death is imminent.
When it doubt, call a priest. We are available 24/7. Just call the IC parish office. Even after hours you can reach me in an emergency, just call the office and follow the prompts.
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Our mailing address has changed. After seeking the advice of the Trustees, Pastoral Council, and Finance Council, we decided to close our PO Box and begin receiving mail directly at the Parish Office. This will save us a trip down to the post office every day, as well as a yearly rental fee. Please begin using our parish office address for all mailings to the church. (Mail will be forwarded to our new address for one year.) Please do not park in front of the mailbox during the week.
202 Alabama St SE, Lonsdale, MN 55046