EXTREME UNCTION /
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters (priests) of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15). This New Testament passage describes one of the seven sacraments: the Anointing of the Sick, sometimes known as Extreme Unction or Last Rites. This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is given to all those (after the age of 7) who are seriously ill by anointing them with oil blessed by the Bishop, and it is not reserved only for those who are at the point of death (which is how it came to be known as “Extreme Unction” or "Last Rites" in danger of death). This sacred anointing can be repeated for each serious illness or for a relapse of the same illness, or even in preparation for serious surgeries.
The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will. Furthermore, if he/she has committed sins, he/she will be forgiven.
By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives the strength and the gift of a closer union to Christ’s Passion: in a certain way the sick person is consecrated to bear fruit by configuration to the Savior’s redemptive Passion. Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.
The sick who receive this sacrament, by freely uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ, contribute to the good of the People of God. By celebrating this sacrament the Church, in the communion of saints, intercedes for the benefit of the sick person, and the sick person, through the grace of this sacrament, contributes to the sanctification of the Church and to the good of all men for whom the Church suffers and offers herself through Christ to God the Father.
The grace of this sacrament unites the sick disciple more closely to the suffering of Christ, strengthens the disciple to endure their own suffering with peace and courage, and forgives any sins that were not previously forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance.
If you are a parishioner at Immaculate Conception, and desire to receive the Sacrament of Anointing, or your loved one is admitted to the hospital and you think anointing is needed, CONTACT US below.
For emergencies in danger of death, call the Parish Office and select the emergency line!