Anointing of the Sick

Introduction
The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to the suffering, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ.

Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary

The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehead and hands of the person with blessed oil.

Oil – a symbol of healing, cleansing of sin, consecration to God

Sign of the Cross – Salvation by the cross

Laying of hands – Sign of comforting

Biblical Foundation

Jesus healed the blind and the sick, as well as commissioned his Apostles to do so, as in the following sources.

  1. Gospel of Mark 6:12-13

“So they (the Twelve Apostles) went off and preached repentance.
They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”

Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary
  1. Paul to the Colossians 1:24

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh
I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”

  • James 5:14-15

“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up;
and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

Ministry of Care.

Those who are sick among the people of God are suffering in one way or the other – This brings in the question of Human Suffering.

Human suffering causes pain to the human person.

Pain  can be viewed in two aspects:

Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary
  • Positive aspect
  • Negative aspect

Positive aspect

Under positive, pain is regarded as a gift from God because it is an indicator of something that is not right.

Negative aspect

In a negative sense, pain can be viewed in the sense that a human person causes pain to another willingly and consequently inflicting the pain itself.

The story of Job in the Scripture

The story of Job in the Old Testament provides a perfect insight into the concept of Human Suffering.

In the Old Testament, people believed suffering was meant for those who are not close to God like the poor whereas the rich were considered to be at peace with God. Here, the story of Job proves otherwise.

The belief was that: The rich were blessed

The poor were accused

Job was restored eventually after undergoing the ‘Human suffering’

From the story of Job, we can be able to learn the following moral stories:

  1. It is better to lose the whole world than to lose the soul
  2. People are defined by what/who they are and not by what they have
Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary

Ministry of care

The story of the Good Samaritan

Priest – passed by the suffering, the culture never allowed priests to touch the dying

Levite – Passed by the suffering

Samaritan – saw the man, poured some wine, carried the injured to the inn, paid for the inn.

  • Ministry of care is a call to care for brothers and sisters who suffer in our midst
  • Matthew 25 – when I was sick you came to see me
  • Is a call to be in presence of each other (communion of saints), because healing occurs in the presence.
  • The scripture looks at the Human person and not what they do

Extreme Unction

Traditionally, Anointing of the sick used to be known as; extreme unction, meaning the last sacrament.

Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary

Vatican II Council

The teaching of the conciliar, was to bring out the real meaning of the sacrament.

  1. It maintains the integrity of the human person whether he/she lives or dies after
  2. Has nothing to do with the bodily state
  3. Is about the state one is in and not about death; Getting the strength to live amidst the pain

Anointing is for:-

  1. The old
  2. The Bedridden
  3. People in Intensive care Units
  4. In patients
  5. Casualties
  6. Cancer and AIDS patients
  7. Casualties
  8. Pre-mature babies (Baptised first)
  9. Infant sickness
  10. Accidents
  11. Surgical operations
  12. Mothers who are to undergo a caesarian section
  13. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients

Ministry of care calls for support and care where medical attention stops.

The Priest may give the sacrament but the ministry of care is needed and is provided for by the lay apostolates (Any Baptised).

In the Anointing, there is the use of Oil, Sign of the cross and Laying of Hands.

Oil – a symbol of healing, cleansing of sin, consecration to God

Sign of the Cross – Salvation by the cross

Laying of hands – Sign of comforting

Ministry of care is a gift whereby the lay apostolate (Any Baptised) heal by presence.

Disposition of the sick; Patients do not have the ability to re-accept or reject since they are overwhelmed by their situation and so a minister may visit the sick in two capacities, that is privately and pastoral.

Mark 6:13

Shows the relationship between the anointing and sickness.

John 20, 21 – committed to the same tradition as the Markan community

Markan community dramatized some things that Jesus did.

In James 5:14-15, anointing is to be done by presbyters (forgiveness of sin and Viaticum) whereas for the lay apostolates provide the ministry of care.

Conclusion

Anointing of the sick is not to be taken as a sacrament of emergency

People are encouraged to ask for it

One who receives the sacrament receives the grace of peace and courage to overcome the difficulties.

Seven Sacraments

Essential Items at the Sanctuary

Teaching about Mary

Return to Homepage

Read about Baptism and Infant Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Holy Orders, Marriage

One thought on “Anointing of the Sick”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *