Are there sick people among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church and let the priests pray over them anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick persons and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them (James 5: 14-15).
The Catholic Church professes and teaches that the anointing of the sick is one of the seven Sacraments of the New Testament, that was instituted by Christ our Lord, intimated in Mark (6:13) and through James, the apostle, recommended to the faithful and made known.
The purpose of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is to confer a special grace on Christians who are being tried by illness and old age and are in danger of death. A Christian may receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick any time he or she falls into serious illness and again if the illness worsens.
The Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration. It can take place in a family’s home, a hospital or Church, for a single sick person or in a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord’s Passover. The celebration of the Sacrament includes a Penitential Rite and reception of the Holy Eucharist. As the Sacrament of Christ’s Passover, the Holy Eucharist should always be the last Sacrament of the earthly journey, the “viaticum” for “passing over” to eternal life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1517)
Priests (presbyters and bishops) are the ministers of the celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The celebration begins with the Liturgy of the Word which awakens the faith of the sick person and of the community to ask the Lord for the strength of his Spirit. The celebration continues with the Liturgy of the Anointing. It includes the following principal elements: the priest, in silence, lays hands on the sick person, prays over the sick person in the faith of the Church (this is the epiclesis proper to the sacrament), and with oil blessed by the bishop, first anoints the sick person’s forehead using these words, Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and then the hands, May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.
The special grace of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as it effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his or her 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 sacrament of Penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his or her soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1532)
Sacraments of the Sick / Last Rite
The sick and the elderly are valued members of our parish family. If you or your loved one needs the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or to receive Eucharist at home or in the hospital, please call the parish priest at 301-994-0525. Our pastor visits our homebound on a rotating basis approximately once per month.
We are also blessed to have a Homebound Ministry with ministers that visit our sick and homebound on a weekly basis bringing to them the Eucharist and prayers.