The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick celebrates and reminds us of God’s compassion and assists all who participate to recognize the spiritual, and sometimes physical healing that results from the faithful reception of this sacrament. This sacrament is not limited to those who are at the point of death. The sacrament’s intent is to lead the faithful to a wider availability beyond cases of mortal illness, such as preparing for surgery, elderly who are struggling, those suffering from chronic illness, and sick children as long as they “have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by the sacrament.”
For more information about the sacrament, please view the Catholic Update article: Anointing the Sick: A Parish Sacrament.
Anointing of the Sick During Mass
The Oil used for the Anointing of the Sick is consecrated by Bishop Brown each year at the Chrism Mass. The large container of the Oil of the Sick is placed in the Sanctuary near the altar.
The Mass begins in the usual manner. The readings assigned for the day are used. The ritual of anointing begins after the homily.
The ritual begins with a prayer of blessing over the oil and a litany of prayers for those who will be anointed and for those who care for them. The prayer of anointing is said aloud by the Presider, “Through his holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” All respond, “Amen.” Those to be anointed are invited to come forward to one of the priests. The priests are stationed at the places ordinarily used for the reception of Communion. The priest anoints the forehead and the palms of the hand of the sick person, saying “May the Lord who frees you from sin and save you and raise you up.” The person says, “Amen.”
The Mass continues with the presentation of the gifts of bread and wine.
The ritual begins with the Sign of the Cross, followed by readings from Scripture. The readings are to be adapted to the condition of the person who is ill. The priest assures the sick person of the prayers and concern of the entire community of the faithful.
The priest, and all present, lay hands on the person who is ill. After this period of silent prayer the priest anoints the sick person on the forehead and on the palms of the hands.
Those gathered are invited to pray the Our Father.
If appropriate, the sick person may receive Communion.
The priest gives a final blessing to all present.