Anointing of the Sick

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.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, § 1499)


The Sacrament of Anointing, formerly known as “Extreme Unction”, was reserved historically for those in imminent danger of death. It was generally celebrated in the context of “Last Rites”, which also included the Sacrament of Penance, and “Viaticum” when circumstances permitted. (“Viaticum” referred to the last reception of the Eucharist.)

Nowadays, we are pleased to make the Sacrament of Anointing available to you at any time when you are in need. This includes any time when death is near — as was earlier the case — or, for example, in anticipation of any serious health care intervention (like major surgery). This may involve a visit to your hospital, or a visit to your home ahead of hospital admission, or perhaps in church. Occasionally we celebrate in church a “Healing Mass” during which all those present are anointed. 

Please contact the rectory when you (or any of your loved ones) are ill at home or hospitalized, so we can arrange for a visit.


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