Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his healings of almost every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that “God has visited his people.”
–CCC, no. 1503, citing Lk 7:16
Anointing with oil has many meanings such as cleansing as part of a bath, limbering up the muscles of athletes, and healing the wounds of the sick. Two other sacramental celebrations make use of blessed oil: “The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort” (CCC, no. 1294). The Oil of Catechumens is used in Baptism. The Oil of the Sick is used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
1. When should we receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
The proper time for receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age. Each time a Christian falls seriously ill, he may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when, after he has received it, the illness worsens. (CCC, nos. 1528, 1529)
2. Who are the ministers of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
Only priests and bishops can give the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, using oil blessed by the bishop, or if necessary by the celebrating presbyter [priest or celebrant] himself. (CCC, no. 1530)
3. What are the effects of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
The special grace of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:
- the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church;
- [giving the sick person the strength], peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age;
- [imparting] the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance;
- [providing for] the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul;
- [helping the sick person in] the preparation for passing over to eternal life. (CCC, no. 1532)
To receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, please contact the Parish Office at 704-332-2901 ext. 212.