Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of healing. This anointing consists of prayers over the sick person, asking God’s will to be done, whether it is for bodily healing, or for passage of the person’s spirit to Heaven.
This sacrament is a reminder that our whole lives are destined toward God. The anointing connects us to our baptism, marking the end of the journey we began when we first made promises to God that our whole lives would be directed towards love, justice, and service. It brings us to the moment for which we have lived our whole lives in hope.
The Sacrament of Anointing is typically done when one is very ill and may be facing physical death. The prayers of anointing, therefore, may ask God for healing, but in the event that bodily healing does not occur, there are prayers are for sending forth the person onto eternal peace in eternity.
Like the other sacraments, anointing is a sacrament of hope. It reminds us of the hope that Jesus, in his resurrection, showed us that death is not the end of life. It reminds us that our journey has been one of relationship with God, in the easy times and in the difficult times, but ultimately, that our path leads to one place, and that is union with the God who has given meaning to our every breath, every action, and every encounter with another being.
The Anointing [or Sacrament] of the Sick should be received by all who are seriously ill, especially those facing the possibility of death or in hospice. It is available upon request by calling the parish office at 708-599-5300 and occasionally celebrated communally at mass.