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Stages of Ritual Anointing of the Sick--A Sacrament of the Catholic Church
Everyone is familiar with the term 'Last Rites'. But there is much more to blessing the sick person, within the sacraments of the Catholic church.
Indeed, one need not be dying to receive the anointing of the sick, and this rite, as it is practised in many Catholic churches, is truly a wonderful gift and often a great healing is felt in body, mind and spirit by the recipients.
Sacrament of Anointing
Bishops and preists of the Catholic Church often present healing masses, or anointing mass for the regard of the sick of the parish and the congregation gathered in worship. Those having a sickness are reached by the church in this way and are received by the bishop or priest where they are administered the sacrament of anointing, one of a number of sacraments (such as marriage and confession and baptism) that the Catholic Church considers essential for the soul of the Christian.
Pope John Paul blessing the faithful
Anointing of the sick and Extreme Unction
The sacrament of the anointing of the sick is a sacrament reserved for the final moments as suggested by the expressions "extreme unction" and "last rites". In ancient practice used in effect as a sacrament for the seriously ill to the point of death.
It addresses the faithful whose
health is beginning to be seriously affected by illness or old age as well as those undergoing a major operation.
2. The purpose and effect of the sacrament of the sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is intended to confer a special grace to the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the condition of serious illness or infirmity. It is a sign of God's tenderness for the suffering person.
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:
- Comfort, peace and courage to endure
the suffering of Christians in disease or weakness.
- The forgiveness of sins if the patient could not obtain through the sacrament of Penance;
- The restoration of health, if it suits the spiritual salvation;
--Preparing the transition to eternal life.
HISTORY of the SACRAMENT of ANOINTING OF SICK
This sacrament was already given in the first Christian community.
"If one of you is sick, not necessarily call for the elders of the community will pray for him in doing an anointing with oil in the name of the Lord. Their prayers, inspired by faith, will save the sick, the Lord shall raise them, and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. "(Letter to the Christians of Saint John, 5/14-15).
In the third century, Hippolytus of Rome, bishop, reflects on a ritual for the anointing of the sick.
1. The anointing of the sick in the beginning
This sacrament was already given in the first Christian community.
"If one of you is sick, not necessarily call for the elders of the community will pray for him in doing an anointing with oil in the name of the Lord. Their prayers, inspired by faith, will save the sick, the Lord shall raise him, and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. "(Letter to the Christians of Saint Jacques, 5/14-15). In the third century,
2. The anointing from the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages the sacrament became more defined as something only for devout Christians, and it was reserved as the sacrament of penance close to the time of death, or those on their deathbed.
The Healing Anointing
then became the anointing of the dying, or "the last sacrament" and hence
the extreme unction was came into it's own In 1173, and indeed, it was sometimes available only to the wealthy who could pay.
3. The reform of Vatican II
The Second Vatican Council which proposed to use the words: "Anointing of the Sick". In the Constitution on the liturgy, we read:
"Extreme Unction, and better known as the Anointing of the Sick, is not only the sacrament of those who are in extremis. It is also timely to receive by those in danger of death due to physical impairment or old age "(n. 73).
Pope Paul VI promulgated the new ritual of the anointing of the sick 30 November 1972.
CELEBRATION of the SACRAMENT of THE SICK
The preparation of the celebration is entrusted to members of the pastoral care of patients and families.
It may include several stages depending on the condition of the patient, and the urgency of the situation. The personal meditation is most often that the Gospel passage in which Jesus anoints the sick (Luke, 6, 19).
Songs and texts can be chosen to make the
celebration more lively. Indeed, many want to give a festive air to this day:
bringing flowers, incense or helping the patient to look their best.
2. The celebration of the sacrament
The celebration of this sacrament consists of these elements:
- The imposition of hands, a gesture that calls the descent of the Holy Spirit and is silent
- Anointing on the forehead and hands of the patient with the oil of the sick. This anointing is accompanied by a prayer. The priest says:
" by this holy anointing may the Lord in His goodness, comfort you by the grace of the Holy Spirit" and the person responds, "Amen." "So, you have freed from sin, he saves you and relieve you." "Amen."
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is celebrated by a priest. "Neither the deacons nor lay people can exercise this ministry. (Code of Canon Law , canon 1003 § 1)
Q: Can I receive several times the Sacrament of the Sick?
Every year in every parish church or sector, it is desirable to have a community celebration of the anointing of the sick. This form of celebration is spreading in many parishes. The anointing of the sick should indeed be celebrated as often as possible in a community.
Relatives, friends, caregivers and companions, and also members of the parish community, must surround the sick care and affection, pray with and for them.
If you wish to receive this sacrament, contact ask your parish priest.
Gloria from the Chrism Mass
The blessing of the oil of the sick
The oil of the sick is used to bless at the "Chrism Mass" during Holy Week, by the bishop surrounded by all priests.
It is sometimes called oil of the infirm. According to the sacrament, the patient is in line with the whole Church and the Christian community.
If necessary, the oil of the sick can be blessed outside the Chrism Mass with the local priest when celebrating the sacrament .
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