Sacrament of the Sick:
Please notify the Rectory if a member of your family is in the hospital or sick at home, and wishes to receive the Anointing of the Sick.
Please call the Rectory at (847) 872-8778 for home communion calls.
Anointing of the Sick explained...
Jesus once sent his Twelve Apostles two by two to teach and heal in his name: "So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them" (Mark 6:12-13). Oil and oil-based medications were used for healing in the ancient world, and this is another example of a physical sign being used to mediate the power of God.
After the Resurrection of Jesus, an anointing with oil brought his healing to the sick: "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15).
This passage is seen by the Catholic Church as Christ's design for the sacrament of anointing of the sick. It shows that such an anointing was given by the early Church, that the minister was a Church leader (presbyter, priest), and that Christ was present through the anointing and prayer to bring healing. The exact kind of healing is not specified. The expressions "save" and "raise up" might refer to a physical cure, spiritual healing, or being raised to eternal life.
For eight hundred years healing was the chief purpose of the sacrament. Gradually, however, the anointing was associated primarily with critical illness and death, and by the twelfth century the sacrament was commonly seen as preparation for death and was called by such names as extreme unction (Last Anointing) and the sacrament of the dying. The Council of Trent countered this trend somewhat by pointing out that the sacrament had numerous spiritual and physical effects, including health of body when this would promote spiritual welfare. But until the Second Vatican Council, the emphasis of anointing continued to be preparation for death. This Council stated that the sacrament should be called the anointing of the sick and taught that it is not reserved for those at the point of death, but is meant to bring healing and salvation to the seriously ill.
The pastoral practice of the Church today calls for the anointing of the sick in case of serious illness-physical, emotional, or mental. Thus a person might be anointed when sick with pneumonia, when preparing for surgery, when seriously depressed, or when weak from the burdens of old age. Anointing would not usually be ministered for colds or other minor illnesses. The sacrament may be repeated in case of long-term illness, especially when there is a change for the worse. Anointing of the sick may be ministered in a continuous rite with penance and holy Communion. When a person is dying, these three sacraments may properly be called the last rites. When holy Communion is given to a dying person, it is called viaticum-"[Christ] on the way with you."
There is a communal rite of anointing which may be celebrated as a healing service for the seriously ill in nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, and parishes. Anointing may also be given during the celebration of Mass.
Scripture readings and prayers for healing accompany the anointing. All baptized believers who are present join with the priest in asking for God's grace. The priest, after laying hands on the head of the sick person, anoints the forehead with blessed oil as he prays: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit." He anoints the hands, saying, "May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up."
The ritual for the sacrament of anointing explains that this sacrament gives God's grace to the sick for the good of the whole person. The sick are encouraged to trust in God and are fortified against temptations and anxiety. They are helped to bear suffering bravely and to conquer it. They are strengthened by God for a return to physical health if this will be beneficial to their salvation, or for their entry into everlasting life. If they are unable to receive the sacrament of penance, their sins are forgiven by the anointing.
For a more complete description of the Sacrament of the Sick, click here.Anointing of the Sick
A Sacrament is an action in which Christians assemble to celebrate their lived experience, and to call to Communal Anointing Liturgy heart their common story. The action is a symbol of God's care for us in Christ. Enacting the symbol brings us closer to one another in the Church, and to the Lord who is there for us.
Some common questions concerning the Anointing of the Sick.
Q. Who can be anointed? A. In general, the following people may be anointed: those who are seriously ill, temporarily ill or convalescing, chronically ill, emotionally troubled, preparing for surgery, sick children (old enough to understand), and the aged.
Q. If I was anointed last year or previously, can I be anointed again? A. Yes. This sacrament may be repeated if you recover after being anointed and then become ill again, or if; in the course of the same illness or old age, the condition worsens.
Q. Does receiving this sacrament mean that I will soon die? A. No. The Church encourages her sick and elderly members to receive this sacrament so that their faith will be strengthened and they will not give in to discouragement.
Q. One of my loved ones is very ill and cannot get to the Church for the anointing. Is there something the Church can do? A. Yes. Please phone the Rectory at (847) 872-8778 to set up an appointment.
Please take advantage of this comforting sacrament. If you have any additional questions, please call the Rectory.