Serious illness is a human limit-situation, a condition which brings the human person to the limits, reducing him or her to helplessness, to an emptiness in which it is difficult for the presence of God, with its joy and consolation, to assert itself. Jesus’ defeat of sickness was a sign of his progressive victory over death, a sign that gave meaning to his words, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).”
Every sacrament represents the continuation in the Church of some aspect of the ministry of Jesus. Jesus healed through prayer and touch and word, an expression of his power to forgive sin. The heart of the sacrament of the sick involves the laying on of hands by the priest, the prayer of faith and the anointing with blessed oil. The Church offers the sick person that which Christ himself can give them which is the help of his power and of his grace so that the sick person feels aided and received by him, and able to trust him and his victory over sin and death.
The healing ministry of Jesus continues in the Apostolic Church as James 5:13-15 testifies, “Is there anyone sick among you? They should call for the priest of the Church and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.” As soon as one of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the appropriate time for him or her to receive the sacrament has certainly already arrived.
Please call the parish office during regular hours to request the Anointing of the Sick for a person who is just starting hospice. Call the office, or the emergency number after hours, for a person who has just been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and is in immediate danger of death. Call for a priest immediately if there is a life threatening accident.
The Sacrament of the Sick is also celebrated in the church the second Saturday of every month within Mass at 8am for the elderly and those who suffer from chronic conditions. Additionally, parish priests anoint those in the local nursing homes on a regular basis.