“Is any 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; 15and 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
The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament which, through the anointing and prayer of the priest, gives health and strength to the soul, and sometimes to the body, when we are in danger of death from sickness. It however, “is not a sacrament for only those who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.” (#1514 Catechism of the Catholic Church)
“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; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age
* the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the Sacrament of Penance
* the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul
* the preparation for passing over to eternal life.” (#1532 Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Like all the sacraments, the Anointing of the Sick was instituted by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry. The Catechism explains the institution “as a true and proper Sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle.” (see quote above)
It is ideal if the family of the sick person can gather for this ritual. If done in a hospital, the staff also may be invited to participate. The presence of others assures us that the Church is present in prayer. If such presence is not possible, the sacrament can be administered with just the sick person and the priest present.
If you are seriously ill, or know someone who is, or you are anticipating a serious procedure such as surgery, please contact the parish office at (813) 689-4148, send us an email at [email protected] and we will arrange for the reception of this Sacrament.