Anointing of the Sick
The Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum encompasses the Church’s pastoral care for the sick and the dying. Through the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, Christ strengthens the sick to cope with the experience of sickness; in the Sacrament of Viaticum (which is very often given by a lay extraordinary minister of Holy Communion), Christ prepares the dying for the final passage from death to life. Far from the frightening description of the old “extreme unction” or “last rites,” this ritual offers many approaches to comprehensive pastoral care to the experiences of sickness and dying and to the dignity of the human person. It includes also visits and Communion to the sick.
The Anointing of the Sick is the repeatable sacrament for those who are seriously ill or suffering the difficulties of old age. It is conferred by the laying on of hands by the priest, the offering of the prayer of faith, and the anointing with the blessed oil of the infirm. It is celebrated as needed for each individual. A parish may also celebrate it communally several times a year. To find out more about the sacrament or to request it, please contact the parish office: (803) 788-0811.