Anointing of the Sick
Jesus came to heal the whole person, body and soul.
Grace for Spiritual and Physical Healing
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.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1532
The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults expands on the purpose and effects of The Rite of Anointing, often referred to as “Anointing of the Sick” or in some cases, “Viaticum” (food for the journey.)
In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.
Anointing of the Sick at St. Bernadette Church
We invite you to contact the parish office to be put in touch with our priest in order to request Anointing of the Sick for yourself or another who is ill.
While this sacrament is intended for those who suffer from a serious bodily ailment due to injury, illness, or old age, it is not necessary that someone be at the point of death to receive Anointing.
Viaticum and Last Rights
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us viaticum (food for the journey), may be administered in addition to Anointing of the Sick to those who are about to leave this life.
This Communion with the body and blood of Christ, received at the moment of "passing over" to the Father, has particular significance and importance. (CCC 1524)
If you a loved one is in need of Viaticum, please inquire at the time of requesting Anointing of the Sick from our pastor.