Anointing of the Sick
"Are any among you suffering? They should pray...Are any among you sick? They should call upon the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord." (James 5:13-14)
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all sacraments in the Catholic Church (along with Reconciliation) is that of the Anointing of the Sick. Often (mistakenly) called the 'Last rights', our most common mental image is that of a priest hovering over the bed of a person at death's door, mumbling strange Latin words we do not understand.
This is unfortunate because this is most certainly not a sacrament for the dead, but for the living, whereby we are able to experience the healing ministry of Christ within our own lives. Calling upon our Lord to strengthen us and to help us to endure the trials and afflictions that affect us all whether young or old. In addition, it gives us the chance to have our family of faith pray for us at those times when we most need their support.
In addition to private celebrations in the home or hospital room, this very special encounter with the healing ministry of Christ is offered twice a year at Christ the King, usually in the spring and fall, in a communal celebration at the parish. generally, in the weeks leading up to these community liturgies and for a few weeks afterward the sacrament is also celebrated in the various care-homes that fall within our parish boundaries. Watch the weekly bulletin and monthly calendar in spring and fall for exact time and dates.
Are you going into the hospital for planned (or unplanned) surgery? Are you struggling with a chronic health condition? Do you feel concerned about your health and do not feel as though you can wait until the next parish celebration? Contact the parish office to arrange for a celebration of this sacrament in the home with family and friends or in your hospital room.