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Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:14-16


Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest of problems confronted in human life. In illness, people experience their powerlessness and their limitations. Every illness can make us perceive more clearly our mortality.


Anointing of the Sick, along with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is one of the Sacraments of Healing. By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives a strengthening of faith and the gift of being united more closely to Christ in his Passion. In a certain way, he or she is consecrated to bear fruit by being united to Christ’s redemptive Passion. Restoration of health can be a grace of the sacrament if it will be beneficial to the person’s salvation.


What Does the Sacrament Do?

  • Unites the person to the passion of Christ, for his/her own good and that of the whole Church
  • Fortifies the person with peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or the frailty of old age
  • Forgives sins if the person is unable to receive the sacrament of penance due to disposition of health or availability of the sacrament
  • Returns the person to physical health if it will be beneficial to their salvation
  • Prepares one spiritually and emotionally for passing over to eternal life


Who Can Receive the Sacrament of Anointing?

The Sacrament of Anointing should be received when someone is:

  • Preparing for surgery and, when during the course of recovery, their condition worsens
  • Struggling with serious or chronic illness
  • Coping with emotional illness
  • Nearing the end of his/her life


How Can I Celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?

Contact the rectory by phone (631-585-8760) or by email (Rectory@abvmcentereach.com) and a priest will set up an appointment that works with your schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How is the Sacrament celebrated?
A. After prayers are offered and scripture is read, the priest lays his hands on the head of the person being anointed. With Holy Oil, he makes the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead and palms of the hands and prays: “Through this Holy Anointing, May the Lord in his love and mercy, help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. And may the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up.”


Q. How frequently can I receive the Sacrament?
A. Each time a person falls seriously ill, he or she may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also if there is a change in health, an upcoming surgery, or periodically (4-6 months) for those struggling with chronic illness.


Q. Where can the Sacrament be celebrated?
A. At church, at the hospital, in your home, the sacrament may be celebrated by an individual or as part of a group of people being anointed.


Q. Should I also go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
A. Yes, within a reasonable time before or after being Anointed (about 1week). If meeting individually with the priest, the person is encouraged to go to Confession with the priest before being Anointed. For those who are in a state of health where they cannot speak, or if Reconciliation is not available, one of the graces bestowed by the Anointing is the forgiveness of sins.


Q. What are the “Last Rites” and are they the same as the “Anointing of the Sick”
A. Last Rites was the name given to the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick (called Extreme Unction) and the Eucharist (called Viaticum) when administered to someone who was near death. Anointing someone near the end of their life became so common in the Catholic Church that the Sacrament was commonly referred to as “Last Rites”.


Q. What is Viaticum?
A. Viaticum is the reception of the Eucharist, in or outside of Mass, by someone who is at the very end of life. “Viaticum” is Latin for “provisions for the way”. When in their passage from this life, the faithful are strengthened by receiving the Eucharist. They have the pledge of the resurrection that the Lord promised: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:54) In the Rite of Viaticum, a special Apostolic Pardon is given to one receiving Communion.


Q. What is Extreme Unction?
A Extreme Unction is the proper name for Anointing of the Sick when it is administered to one who is nearing the very end of life.

The following psalms and prayers are helpful in praying during the time of illness


Psalm 6:1-9 (NAB)

1 Do not reprove me in your anger, LORD, nor punish me in your wrath.
2 Have pity on me, LORD, for I am weak; heal me, LORD, for my bones are trembling.
3 In utter terror is my soul– and you, LORD, how long…?
4 Turn, LORD, save my life; in your mercy rescue me.
5 For who among the dead remembers you? Who praises you in Sheol?
6 I am wearied with sighing; all night long tears drench my bed; my couch is soaked with weeping.
7 My eyes are dimmed with sorrow, worn out because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all who do evil! The LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my prayer; the LORD takes up my plea.


Psalm 23:1-6 (NAB)

1 The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

2 In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;

3 you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.

4 Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.

5You set a table before me as my enemies watch; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.


Psalm 25:1-22 (NAB)

1 I wait for you, O LORD; I lift up my soul 2 to my God.
In you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me.
3 No one is disgraced who waits for you, but only those who lightly break faith.
4 Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, LORD.
6 Remember your compassion and love, O LORD; for they are ages old.
7 Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me only in light of your love.
8 Good and upright is the LORD, who shows sinners the way,
9 Guides the humble rightly, and teaches the humble the way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are faithful love toward those who honor the covenant demands.
11 For the sake of your name, LORD, pardon my guilt, though it is great.
12 Who are those who fear the LORD? God shows them the way to choose.
13 They live well and prosper, and their descendants inherit the land.
14 The counsel of the LORD belongs to the faithful; the covenant instructs them.
15 My eyes are ever upon the LORD, who frees my feet from the snare.
16 Look upon me, have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart; bring me out of my distress.
18 Put an end to my affliction and suffering; take away all my sins.
19 See how many are my enemies, see how fiercely they hate me.
20 Preserve my life and rescue me; do not let me be disgraced, for I trust in you.
21 Let honesty and virtue preserve me; I wait for you, O LORD.
22 Redeem Israel, God, from all its distress!


Psalm 27:1-14 (NAB)

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom am I afraid?
2 When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, These my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not fear; Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD’S house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD’S beauty, to visit his temple.
5 For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble, Will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon a rock.
6 Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side! I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.
8 “Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s face”; your face, LORD, do I seek!
9 Do not hide your face from me; do not repel your servant in anger. You are my help; do not cast me off; do not forsake me, God my savior!
10 Even if my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me in.
11 LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Do not abandon me to the will of my foes; malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me.
13 But I believe I shall enjoy the LORD’S goodness in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!


Psalm 42:1-11 (NAB)

1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily,”Where is your God?”
4 Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, When I went in procession with the crowd, I went with them to the house of God, Amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you From the land of the Jordan and Hermon, from the land of Mount Mizar.
7 Here deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents. All your waves and breakers sweep over me.
8 At dawn may the LORD bestow faithful love that I may sing praise through the night, praise to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, “My rock, why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?”
10 It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me. They say to me daily: “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.


Psalm 57:1-3 (NAB)

1 Have mercy on me, God, have mercy on me. In you I seek shelter. In the shadow of your wings I seek shelter till harm pass by.
2 I call to God Most High, to God who provides for me.
3 May God send help from heaven to save me, shame those who trample upon me. May God send fidelity and love.


Psalm 62:6-12 (NAB)

5 My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope.
6 God alone is my rock and my salvation, my secure height; I shall not fall.
7 My safety and glory are with God, my strong rock and refuge.
8 Trust God at all times, my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!


Psalm 63:1-11 (NAB)

1 O God, you are my God– for you I long! For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts, Like a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
2 So I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
3 For your love is better than life; my lips offer you worship!
4 I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.
5 My soul shall savor the rich banquet of praise, with joyous lips my mouth shall honor you!
6 When I think of you upon my bed, through the night watches I will recall
7 That you indeed are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
8 My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
9 But those who seek my life will come to ruin; they shall go down to the depths of the earth!
10 They shall be handed over to the sword and become the prey of jackals!
11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by the Lord shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be shut!


Psalm 71:1-24 (NAB)

1 In you, LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 In your justice rescue and deliver me; listen to me and save me!
3 Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold; for you are my rock and fortress.
4 My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of the violent.
5 You are my hope, Lord; my trust, GOD, from my youth.
6 On you I depend since birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength; my hope in you never wavers.
7 I have become a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge!
8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise, shall sing your glory every day.
9 Do not cast me aside in my old age; as my strength fails, do not forsake me.
10 For my enemies speak against me; they watch and plot against me.
11 They say, “God has abandoned that one Pursue, seize the wretch! No one will come to the rescue!”
12 God, do not stand far from me; my God, hasten to help me.
13 Bring to a shameful end those who attack me; Cover with contempt and scorn those who seek my ruin.
14 I will always hope in you and add to all your praise.
15 My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.
16 I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord; O GOD, I will tell of your singular justice.
17 God, you have taught me from my youth; to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 Now that I am old and gray, do not forsake me, God, That I may proclaim your might to all generations yet to come, Your power
19 and justice, God, to the highest heaven. You have done great things; O God, who is your equal?
20 You have sent me many bitter afflictions, but once more revive me. From the watery depths of the earth once more raise me up.
21 Restore my honor; turn and comfort me,
22 That I may praise you with the lyre for your faithfulness, my God, And sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel!
23 My lips will shout for joy as I sing your praise; my soul, too, which you have redeemed.
24 Yes, my tongue shall recount your justice day by day. For those who sought my ruin will have been shamed and disgraced.


Psalm 86:1-17 (NAB)

1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and oppressed.
2 Preserve my life, for I am loyal; save your servant who trusts in you.
3 You are my God; pity me, Lord; to you I call all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant; to you, Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 Lord, you are kind and forgiving, most loving to all who call on you.
6 LORD, hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help.
7 In this time of trouble I call, for you will answer me.
8 None among the gods can equal you, O Lord; nor can their deeds compare to yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come to bow before you, Lord, and give honor to your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous deeds; and you alone are God.
11 Teach me, LORD, your way that I may walk in your truth, single-hearted and revering your name.
12 I will praise you with all my heart, glorify your name forever, Lord my God.
13 Your love for me is great; you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, the arrogant have risen against me; a ruthless band has sought my life; to you they pay no heed.
15 But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, most loving and true.
16 Turn to me, have pity on me; give your strength to your servant; save this child of your handmaid.
17 Give me a sign of your favor: make my enemies see, to their confusion, that you, LORD, help and comfort me.


Psalm 91:1-16 (NAB)

1 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
3 God will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague,
4 Will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God’s faithfulness is a protecting shield.
5 You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.
8 You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.
9 You have the LORD for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold.
10 No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.
11 For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.
12 With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.
14 Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high.
15 All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.
16 With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.


Psalm 102:1-28 (NAB)

1 LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
3 For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn away as in a furnace.
4 I am withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food.
5 From my loud groaning I become just skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse.
9 I eat ashes like bread, mingle my drink with tears.
10 Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.
11 My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.
12 But you, LORD, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.
13 You will again show mercy to Zion; now is the time for pity; the appointed time has come.
14 Its stones are dear to your servants; its dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations shall revere your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory,
16 Once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory,
17 Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer.
18 Let this be written for the next generation, for a people not yet born, that they may praise the LORD:
19 “The LORD looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from heaven,
20 To attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.”
21 Then the LORD’S name will be declared on Zion, the praise of God in Jerusalem,
22 When all peoples and kingdoms gather to worship the LORD.
23  God has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.
24 I plead, O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days. Your years last through all generations.
25 Of old you laid the earth’s foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed,
27 but you are the same, your years have no end.
28 May the children of your servants live on; may their descendants live in your presence.


Psalm 121:1-8 (NAB)

1 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
3 God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep.
4 Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.
5 The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 By day the sun cannot harm you, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life.
8 The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.


Psalm 123:1-4 (NAB)

1 To you I raise my eyes, to you enthroned in heaven.
2 Yes, like the eyes of a servant on the hand of his master, Like the eyes of a maid on the hand of her mistress, So our eyes are on the LORD our God, till we are shown favor.
3 Show us favor, LORD, show us favor, for we have our fill of contempt.
4 We have our fill of insult from the insolent, of disdain from the arrogant.


Psalm 143:1-12 (NAB)

1 LORD, hear my prayer; in your faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your justice.
2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no living being can be just.
3 The enemy has pursued me; they have crushed my life to the ground. They have left me in darkness like those long dead.
4 My spirit is faint within me; my heart is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of old; I ponder all your deeds; the works of your hands I recall.
6 I stretch out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Selah
7 Hasten to answer me, LORD; for my spirit fails me. Do not hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the pit.
8 At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me, LORD, from my foes, for in you I hope.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.
11 For your name’s sake, LORD, give me life; in your justice lead me out of distress.
12 In your kindness put an end to my foes; destroy all who attack me, for I am your servant.



Prayer for Renewed Strength

O Lord, my God, Please give me the grace to maintain my hope in you through all of life’s changes and to taste and see your goodness. I praise you for the gifts you have showered on me for so many years. Help me find joy in a renewed strength of spirit. Please bless me with good health, and inspire me to be a good example to others. For you are Lord, forever and ever. Amen.


A Blessing Prayer for Those Who Are Sick

Excerpts from the English translation of Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum © 1982, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

All praise and glory is yours, Lord our God, for you have called us to serve you in love. Bless N., so that he/she may bear this illness in union with your Son’s obedient suffering. Restore him/her to health, and lead him/her to glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Blessing Prayer for An Elderly Person Who Is Sick

Excerpts from the English translation of Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum © 1982, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

All praise and glory is yours, Lord our God, for you have called us to serve you in love. Bless all who have grown old in your service, and give N. strength and courage to continue to follow Jesus your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayer of the Elderly

(St. Pope John Paul II, 1999)

Grant, O Lord of life, that we may savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future. Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands. And when the moment of our definitive “passage” comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope. Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us “now and at the hour of our death.” Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our bother, the Lord of life and glory. Amen!


Prayer for All About to Die

Lord Jesus Christ, as you stood by the bed of good Saint Joseph and gently led him home to heaven, so shepherd every soul about to die to a paradise of perfect peace. Let the tears we shed upon their passing stand witness to our love for them and the depth of our thanksgiving for the gift of their lives and the grace of a good death. For you are Lord, forever and ever. Amen.