Teaching of the Church
Anointing of the Sick is “one of the seven sacraments, also known as the ‘sacrament of the sick,’ administered by a priest to a baptized person who begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age, through prayer and the anointing of the body with the oil of the sick. The proper effects of the sacrament include a special grace of healing and comfort to the Christian who is suffering the infirmities of serious illness or old age, and the forgiving of the person’s sins” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499, 1520, 1523, 1526-1532).
The Holy Scripture
“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. 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. This sacred anointing can be repeated for each serious illness or for a relapse of the same illness.
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. Union with the passion of Christ. 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.
An ecclesial grace. 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 St. Anthony, and desire to receive the Sacrament of Anointing, or your beloved one is admitted in the hospital and you think anointing is needed call rectory at 781-289-1234 from Monday to Friday,at all other time or emergency call 781-244-9162.