Anointing of the Sick

If a member of your family is ill, going into hospital or recovering at home after hospitalisation, please inform the parish office. All the hospitals in the area have a hospital chaplain. The parish secretary will inform him of parishioners who have been hospitalised if necessary.

In serious illness we experience mortality. Because these circumstances lead us to face God in the light of our own death, there is something sacramental about this condition we find ourselves in. There is a special sacrament for this sacramental condition: the Anointing of the Sick.

Anointing does not hasten the act of death. Rather, in and through this sacrament, God invites you to commune with him in the light of your final meeting with him. Through this sacrament the entire Church asks God to lighten your sufferings, forgive your sins, and bring you to eternal life.

You need not be on the verge of dying to receive this sacrament. This is clear from the fact that the anointing and prayers that are part of the sacrament, have as a purpose the restoration of health. Therefore, if you are not in the immediate danger of death, but infirm or aged or even preparing for surgery, you can and should ask for the sacrament. If you are in danger of death, either from sickness or old age, you should not delay receiving the sacrament. The Sacrament of the Sick can be received as often as is required. If a member of your family is seriously ill or dying, call a priest immediately.

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