A Sacrament of Healing

by Fr. Joe

A Sacrament Of Healing
the Anointing of the sick

“Is anyone sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.” James 5:14 – 15.

Next weekend at all of the Masses we will celebrate the Sacrament of The Anointing of the Sick. The Sacrament of the Sick is one of the healing sacraments. It is a balm for physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual ills.

Our Human Condition

Human sickness and its meaning are discussed in The Roman Ritual Handbook: Pastoral Care Of The Sick, Rites of Anointing and Viaticum (1983),
“Suffering and illness have always been among the gre atest problems that trouble the human spirit. Christians feel and experience pain as do all other people; yet their faith helps them to grasp more deeply the mystery of suffering and to bear their pain with greater courage. From Christ’s words they know that sickness has meaning and value for their own salvation and for the salvation of the world. They also know that Christ, who during his life often visited and healed the sick, loved them in their illness.”

Since Vatican II the Sacrament of the Sick is offered not only for those in the last stage of life but for all who experience the burden of illness, chronic conditions, psychological and physical addiction, serious spiritual challenges and advanced age.

The Ritual
  • The Sacrament may be administered individually or in a communal setting.
  • After an appropriate Scripture reading, the priest prays over the sick person by the laying on of hands on the head of the sick person. The priest anoints the sick person with the Oil of the Sick, which is blessed by the Bishop each year during the Chrism Mass. The Blessed Oils for our Diocese are kept in our church because we are now serving as the Cathedral Parish. The Silver Oil Urns in the Marion Shrine Area contain the three oils: The Sacred Chrism (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders), Oil of Catechumens (Initiation, Baptism), The Oil of the Sick.
  • The forehead is anointed with the prayer:
    “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
    R. Amen.
  • The palms of the hands are anointed:
    “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” R. Amen.
  • The following prayer can be said after the anointing:
    “Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant your people comfort in suffering. When they are afraid give them courage, when afflicted give them patience, when dejected, afford them hope, and when alone, assure them of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.” R. Amen.
Our Parish Plan for Prayer and Healing Next Weekend
  • Prayer for the healing power of God to be manifest in each one of our lives accompanied by appropriate music for healing will shape our worship theme.
  • Those who choose to receive the Sacrament of the Sick are asked to sit in the first or last row of any section of pews. Wheelchairs can be accommodated in the open space in front of the Ambo. This seating arrangement will allow us to have access to your head and hands for the anointing.
  • The Sacrament will be administered directly following a brief homily at all of the Masses.
Prayerful Preparation
  1. Please keep the sick among your family, friends and fellow parishioners in your prayer this week.
  2. The month of November is a time when we celebrate our loved ones who are now with God, so it is fitting to ask the Communion of Saints to intercede for us and for those that we are keeping in prayer.
  3. Pray for them who have no one to pray for them.
  4. Prayerfully remember Health Care workers and all those who tend to the sick.
  5. This is also an appropriate time to pray for wisdom for those who are discerning the best way to ensure Health Care for all.
Suggested Activity

“When I was ill you came to visit me.” Matthew 25

Contact telephonically, through a card or personal visit someone who is ill and can benefit from your prayer and support.

Fr Joe