Anointing of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of healing. Therefore, it can and should be given to anyone facing serious illness or serious medical events, such as major surgeries. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life." (CCC 1532). Many of these graces are especially helpful to a person who is close to death including peace, the preparation for passing over to eternal life, and the forgiveness of sins.
The Church encourages this sacrament to be a communal rite; thus family members can and should be involved. For example, there is a reading from scripture, which the priest may ask a family member to do, and a laying on of hands, in which the priest may ask all present to participate.
This sacrament is often accompanied by the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. In the event someone needs to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, please call the Parish Center at 202.966.6575.