ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Formerly known as Extreme Unction or Last Rites
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, often referred to as Extreme Unction or Last Rites, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for those in immediate danger of death but also for those suffering from physical, mental, or spiritual sickness. When a priest confers this Sacrament, the individual receives from the Holy Spirit the Graces of strengthening, peace, and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. Also, the Sacrament formally unites the suffering of the individual with that of Christ’s Passion and confers a Grace that contributes to the sanctification of the whole Church.
If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. If circumstances suggest it, the Anointing of the Sick should be received following the Sacrament of Penance.
Finally, for those who are about to leave this life, the Sacrament completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life and fortifies the individual for their final journey. In such cases, the priest will also often offer the Eucharist in the form of Holy Viaticum (food for the journey).
Anointing of the Sick for the dying
If you have a loved one who is actively dying, please do not wait until the last moment to call the priest for Anointing. He may not be immediately available, and your loved one may not receive the sacrament in time. At the very start of a serious illness is the time to call the priest for anointing—not at the very end, at the moment of death.
Schedule a time to receive Anointing of the Sick
If you or a loved one is homebound and would like to receive the sacrament, call the parish office to request one of the priests to come to you at your residence.
To set up a time to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at the church, feel free to ask one of the priests immediately after a Mass at the parish. You can also contact one of the priests directly to set up a time to receive the sacrament.