Anointing of the Sick
Mass for the Anointing of the Sick is held in the church a few times a year. From time to time dates are announced in the Parish Bulletin. The Sacrament of the Sick is the application by the Church of the ministry of Jesus to those who are in need of physical healing. It is the prayer of the Church community for the person who is seriously ill or is experiencing the weakness of old age. Serious illness includes chronic pain, illness that confines one to bed or to the house, or illness that needs hospitalisation. Because Sacraments are meant for the living, it is not appropriate to administer the Anointing of the Sick after death has occurred. If a person has died prayers commending that person to God are the normal action of the Church, and it is good if family members are present for these prayers. Sometimes people speak of the “Last Rites” of the Catholic Church. What does this mean? The Anointing of the Sick is not the Last Rites of the Church. There is a Latin word “Viaticum” which means “going with you” or “on the way with you” and refers to the Holy Communion received by the person who is near death. Viaticum is the gift of Jesus himself accompanying the dying person in the journey from this life to the next. This, with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is the “Last Rites” of the Church. Sometimes the Anointing of the Sick is administered at the same time because it is about the inner healing as well as the physical healing. However it should not be forgotten that Holy Communion is also a healing Sacrament
Holy Communion for the Sick
Our parish is built around the acceptance of a desire to gather as a faith community. The sacramental, liturgical and pastoral life of the parish are intertwined. The fruit of this life according to the Spirit is holiness. Visits to the sick and elderly could be either to comfort them in their loneliness or to take Holy Communion to them. If at any time, you or one of your family cannot attend Mass due to sickness, we are only too happy to make arrangements for that person to receive Communion at home. Sickness is not to be a barrier to receiving Communion. It should in fact be a greater reason for receiving the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Communion is brought to the sick by a priest or deacon, or by one of the acolytes or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. When Holy Communion is brought to the sick at home, it is good to prepare with prayer and also by having a place prepared along side the sick person. A small crucifix and a candle on a white cloth should be sufficient. A glass of water for the sick person will help if he/she has trouble swallowing.