“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” – James 5:14
If you or a loved one is sick or about to have surgery you may ask for the sacrament of the sick. If you are going into a Public Hospital there are Catholic Chaplains who will arrange the anointing, as well as bring you Holy Communion. Let the hospital know that you are Catholic at the time of admission. At any time you can ask the nursing staff to call for the Catholic Chaplain.
The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament given to seriously ill Catholics, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ.
The sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehead and hands of the patient with blessed oil, with the priest saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up”.
The ecclesial effect of this sacrament is incorporated into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul and, at times, healing of the body.
The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness as a purifying cross sent by God, and the grace even to accept death if that is God’s will.
This sacrament has been practiced since the earliest days of the Church. Until recently, the emphasis was on preparation for death, and it was referred to as “Extreme Unction” (the Last Anointing) or “The Last Rites”. The Second Vatican Council, however, restored an emphasis on prayer for the physical and spiritual healing for all seriously ill persons. The sacrament should not be deferred until the person is seriously ill and on the point of death.