In serious physical illness you experience mortality. If you are not seriously ill, but in poor health or aged, addicted to drugs or alcohol, experiencing mental difficulties you know this same experience. Because these circumstances lead you to face God in the light of your own mortality, there is something especially sacramental about the condition you are in. And so there is a formal sacrament for this sacramental situation: anointing of the sick.
Anointing does not hasten the act of death. In this sacrament, God does invite you to connect 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 salvation.
You need not be on the verge of dying to receive this sacrament. This is clear from the fact that the anointing and the prayers that accompany it have as a purpose the restoration of health. If you are in no immediate danger of death, but are sick through abuses, or aged, or mentally debilitated you can and should receive the sacrament.
Anointing of the sick helps you to share more fully in the cross of Christ. By so sharing, you contribute to the spiritual good of the whole Church. By the fact that you share more fully in the cross of Christ through anointing, you are being prepared for a fuller share in Christ's Resurrection.
Preparation for The Anointing of the Sick
If you or a member of your family would like to share in the grace of this healing sacrament, simply call the priest, and he would be happy to visit with the sick person and celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick as is appropriate.
We also offer a Mass of Anointing two times each year whereby we invite all those who are physically able to come to this Mass at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church.