This sacrament is for all those who begin to be in danger of death because of sickness or advanced age. Although it can be administered even to the unconscious who are on the point of expiring, people should not delay in receiving this sacrament. The sacrament is a completion to the life of penance and it strengthens those, who on account of their illness, might be tempted to despair. It is not a sign of giving up on the sick; rather it is a sacrament of hope.
Please call the rectory of St. Mark’s Parish to arrange for this sacrament. In case of emergency, do not hesitate to call at any time. Remember too that we bring Communion to the sick and otherwise shut-in who are unable to attend Sunday Eucharist. Please call the rectory to arrange for these visits.
Please let the parish office know if you know of someone who is eligible and wishes to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its purpose the conferral of a special grace on the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the condition of grave illness or old age.
The proper time for receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age.
Each time a Christian falls seriously ill, they may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when, after they have received it, the illness worsens.
Only priests (presbyters and bishops) can give the sacrament of the Sick, using oil blessed by the bishop, or if necessary by the celebrating presbyter himself.
The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied but the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament.
The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing the Sick has as its effects:
- the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church;
- the strengthening, peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age;
- the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacraments of Penance;
- the restoration of health, if it is conductive to the salvation of his soul;
- the preparation for passing over to eternal life.
The preceding has been taken from "Catechism of the Catholic Church".