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Annointing of the Sick

 

 

"Through this holy annointing, 
may the Lord in his love and mercy help you,
 with the grace of the Holy Spirit."

 


 Contact: Parish office at 630.355.4545

The Anointing of the Sick is the official name of the sacrament that many may remember as the "Last Rites" or "Extreme Unction." In the days before Vatican II, only those in danger of death were anointed, but the Council changed all that. Vatican II has had us follow the more ancient practice of the Church, which is to anoint all the sick for the healing of their bodies and souls.

The apostle St. James tells us: "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and 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." (James 5:14-15)

And so, we anoint any person who is seriously ill, in danger of death, weakened due to old age (even if no serious illness is present), or preparing for serious surgery due to illness. One should not necessarily wait until they are on their deathbed to receive this sacrament. In addition, those who have received the anointing and recovered, but again fall ill, or those whose condition becomes more serious during the same illness, may receive the sacrament again. The dead are not anointed, as no sacrament is effective for those who are not living. For the dead, we say prayers for the dead and trust their souls to the mercy of God.

If you or a loved one is ill, please call the parish to be anointed. If you wish to be anointed before surgery, please contact a priest who can arrange to anoint you before or after Mass if you are able to come to Church, or, if not, in your home. Please do not rely on the hospital to inform us of your illness. Hospitals are actually forbidden to do this under current law, so we need you to let us know when you or a loved one is ill so that the sacrament can be administered. In cases of immanent death or the possibility thereof, you should always use the emergency option on our phone system, dialing "2" to have a priest paged.

 

* Photograph used with permission from Kramer Photographers. 
Stop by room 162 and view the originals.