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, and 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 5:14-15
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its purpose to confer special grace on the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the conditions of grave illness or old age.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. -CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
…It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced. -CCC 1515
With this teaching in mind, it reminds all of us that the Anointing of the Sick is for those experiencing serious illness, preparing for surgery, ongoing treatments, suffering from addictions or mental disease or the frailty of old age. This also means that Anointing of the Sick is not preventative care to keep us healthy and is not for everyone but, is truly reserved for those facing serious illness in body, mind, or spirit.
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is administered after all Masses at St. Joseph and St. John the first weekend of each month (please check our parish calendar). In cases of need, please call the parish office at St. Joseph (301.663.0907) or St. John (301.662.8288) and arrangements will be made for a priest to visit and celebrate the Sacrament.