Anointing of the Sick
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1499-1532
In serious illness you experience mortality. You realize that at some time you are going to die. If you are not seriously ill, but infirm or aged, you know this same experience.
Because these circumstances lead you to face God in the light of your own death, there is something especially sacramental about the condition you are in. And so, there is a formal sacrament for this sacramental situation: Anointing of the Sick.
Anointing does not hasten the act of death. In this sacrament, however, God does invite you to commune with him in the light of your final meeting with him. Through this sacrament, the entire Church asks God to lighten your sufferings, forgive your sins, and bring you to eternal salvation.
You need not be on the verge of dying to receive this sacrament. This is clear from the fact that the anointing and the prayers that accompany it have as a purpose the restoration of health. Therefore, if you are not in the immediate danger of death, either from sickness or old age, you should not delay receiving the sacrament.
Anointing of the sick helps you to share more fully in the Cross of Christ. By sharing your suffering, you contribute to the spiritual good of the whole Church. By the fact that you share more fully in the Cross of Christ through anointing, you are being prepared for a fuller share in Christ’s Resurrection.
Please don’t hesitate to telephone the Parish Office at (973) 779-6200
if you would like a priest to visit you or a family member at home or in the hospital.