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The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

CCC1499 “By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.”

Bap Font and oilsThe Anointing of the Sick arises from Christ’s ministry as a healer, which is handed on to the apostles (Mark 6,13). It can take place as part of a liturgical service in Church with a number of people; it can also be in private with someone who is unwell or preparing for surgery; and it can be in an emergency when someone is dying. This is a sacrament of healing and its power should never be underestimated. In all cases the Word of God is proclaimed to provide hope and consolation. In an emergency or when someone is able to make a confession the priest will give absolution and the Apostolic Pardon.

The priest then silently prays over the sick person resting his hands on their head invoking the Holy Spirit. After this prayerful silence the priest, using the oil of the sick, anoints the forehead of the sick person with these words: “Through this Holy anointing may the Lord in his love mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit”. He then anoints the palms of the sick person’s hands with these words: “May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up”.