Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick continues Jesus’ ministry of care and compassion to the sick and frail in our communities. As Vatican II reminds us, it is not a sacrament for those at the point of death. Rather the appropriate time is whenever anyone of the faithful appears to be in danger of death from sickness or old age. (c/f No 73 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963)
Sickness and pain have always been a heavy burden for people. Everyone is prone to sickness and pain, but our Christian faith helps us understand this mystery of suffering and to bear pain more courageously. Jesus bore all the sufferings of his passion and understood human sorrow.
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick helps those who are seriously ill to bear their sickness. It gives a new injection of life helping people to focus their mind and heart towards God in spite of pain and weakness. Anointing of the sick is a Sacrament of Faith – faith in the minister of the sacrament and faith for the one who receives it.
The Liturgy of the Catholic Church, as revised by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council give this perspective on the Sacrament of Anointing:
"When the Church cares for the sick, it serves Christ himself in the suffering members of his Mystical Body. When it follows the example of the Lord Jesus, who ‘went about doing good and healing all’ (Acts 10:38), the Church obeys his command to care for the sick (see Mark 16:18).
The Church shows this solicitude not only by visiting those who are in poor health but also by raising them up through the Sacrament of Anointing and by nourishing them with the Eucharist during their illness and when they are in danger of death. Finally, the Church offers prayers for the sick to commend them to God, especially in the last crisis of life."
There is an Anointing Mass at one of the churches of the Parish every three months during the year. Sick people and older people are particularly welcome at these Masses. They can receive the Sacrament of Anointing during Mass and then enjoy morning tea afterwards.
If you are concerned about someone in our community who is sick, please contact the Parish Office to arrange for one of the priests to visit the sick person. For people in hospital, it is best to contact the Catholic Chaplain of the Hospital.