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Anointing of the Sick Page

Anointing of the Sick - St. Joseph Catholic Church - Largo, MD         Anointing of the Sick

In the love of God His Father, Jesus Christ has come to heal the whole human person, soul and body. He continues to show his faithfulness and compassion and solidarity towards the sick: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." (CCC: 1505) As St. James says, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call the presbyters of the Church and let them pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14-15). The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick confers a special grace of the Holy Spirit on Christians who are suffering from serious illness, and not exclusively on the faithful who are at the point of death (CCC: 1514).

The sacrament is connected to divine absolution through the Church: as administered by the priest, the anointing has effects of "the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance". ​(CCC: 1520-1523; 1532)

. Is the Sacrament called the "Last Rites"?

No. The Church believes and teaches that the sacrament is not a sacrament only for those who are at the point of death but for those among the faithful, including children reaching the age of reason, who "begin to be in danger of death from sickness or old age". (CCC: 1514)

May someone receive this Sacrament more than once?

Yes, and at the discretion of the priest. (Cf. CCC: 1515) One should ask for a priest to confer the sacrament again in any situation of grave illness, whether the situation is persisting, recurring, worsening, or a newly developed one and so on.

A Roman Catholic priest is necessary to confer the Sacrament.

The "priests of the Church"—in silence—lay hands on the sick; they pray over them in the loving faith of the Church in the hope of Holy Spirit to come and act; they then anoint them with sacred oil. (CCC: 1519).

 Please contact Cathedral office and let them know about your wish to receive the Sacrament.