Anointing of the Sick
Understanding the Sacrament
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick expresses God’s merciful presence to the sick and aged. We are not alone in our illness or the prospect of death.
Often there are three Sacraments administered at this time:
- A priest hearing the confession of the sick person (if able) – Sacrament of Reconciliation
- A priest anointing the sick person with holy oil – Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
- The sick person’s reception of Holy Communion (if able) – Sacrament of the Eucharist
Who may receive this Sacrament?
This sacrament is available to:
- someone who is homebound or in a care facility and their health status declines
- someone diagnosed with a chronic illness or it worsens
- those who are dangerously ill through sickness or old age
- someone who enters hospice
- a sick person before surgery whenever the surgery is necessitated by a dangerous illness
- sick children who have reached the age of reason
- sick people who have lost consciousness or who have lost the use of reason, but would have requested it if they have been in possession of their faculties
Please do not wait to call the priest to receive the Anointing of the Sick and the other two Sacraments. (Please do not wait until the final hours before death to call a priest.) There may be times when a priest is not available to administer these Sacraments.