YEAR OF FAITH – Sacraments of Healing: (2) The Sacrament of the Sick

posted 19 Jul 2013, 07:25 by Susan Weaver

This is the Sacrament which is especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness.  The priest anoints the sick person, with blessed oil, on the forehead and hands, while saying: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.  May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” see YOUCAT (Youth Catechism) pages 140-142 and Catechism of the Catholic Church
pages 335-342.

Any baptised person, no matter how young, may receive the Sacrament of the Sick, sometimes known as the Sacrament of Anointing.  It is no longer reserved for those who are at the point of death.  Anyone who is seriously ill, or about to undergo major surgery, can receive this sacrament; and it is possible for a sick person to receive the sacrament on several occasions.  Whenever possible, the sick person should take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before being anointed, and should also receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion.

The special grace received from being anointed has the effect, firstly, of uniting the sick person to the Passion of Christ, giving them the courage to endure their illness, or the effects of frailty and old age.  Secondly, the Sacrament has the effect of forgiveness of sins if the sick person was not able to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; and thirdly, the Sacrament can have the effect of restoring the sick person to health, or preparing them for a peaceful death.  When a dying person receives Holy Communion, it is called “Viaticum” because they are united with the Risen Christ in an extra-special way on their last journey from death to new and everlasting life.  

The St Hugh’s Year of Faith discussion group will next meet on Saturday, 21st September  after 10am Mass.

 

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