Sacrament of the Sick
Receiving the Sacrament of the Sick
Priests of the parish would like to be informed of any parishioner who cannot attend Mass through illness or old age. Priests would like to be advised of any parishioner who would like to receive the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month, or more frequently. The Sacrament of the sick is offered regularly to those over the age of 65. It can be received once a month by those who are ill and it is offered as a sacrament of healing to anybody suffering from illness of the body or mind.
The Sacrament of the Sick, formerly known as Extreme Unction or the Last Rites, is a sacrament by which, through the prayers of a priest and the anointing with oil, a person who is ill, is given spiritual support and healing of mind and body through the presence of the healing Christ..
The oil used is olive oil that is blessed by the bishop in the Cathedral on Holy Thursday at the Chrism mass. The holy oils are then taken each year to each parish and hospital for use throughout the year in the Sacrament of the Sick.
The priest confers this sacrament by making a small sign of the cross with his thumb, dipped in the oil on the forehead and the palms of the hands while saying: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you by the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you.”
Who Can Be Anointed?
In times past this sacrament would only have been administered when there was danger of death. However, since the reforms of the second Vatican Council, the sacrament has been restored to regular use for those who are suffering from any infirmity of the mind or body. Baptised persons receive this sacrament when they are serious ill, infirm, in advanced years, or prior to surgery. It is not only for when a person is in danger of death.