"Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders 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." James 5:14-15
Anointing of the Sick is one of two Sacraments which heals and saves the baptized person from sin. (The other sacrament is Penance/Reconciliation.) Christ identified with the sufferings of the sick and made their sufferings his own. This Sacrament unites the suffering of the sick person to the sufferings of Christ; strengthens the sick person with courage and peace; forgives all sins for which the sick person has true sorrow but unable to confess; sometimes restores health; and prepares the sick person for the transition to eternal life.
The following persons are included among those who may receive anointing--persons undergoing surgery, those who are recovering from sickness; those whose illness has worsened; and those who are in danger of death from sickness or old age.
Oftentimes, the Anointing of the Sick is preceded by the Sacrament of Penance if the person's condition allows. When Holy Communion is received following the celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing, it is called Viaticum. Viaticum literally means food for the traveler. Only priests (and Bishops) may celebrate Anointing of the Sick.
If you or a loved one are in need of Anointing, please contact Fr. Steve Sauser.