Anointing of the Sick | Sharing in Christ's Suffering
Through this sacrament, the whole church commends those who are ill to the Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.
By this sacrament, those who suffer are united to the Passion and death of Christ. The Lord himself showed great concern for the sick and commanded his followers to do likewise.
Through this sacrament, Christ strengthens the faithful who are afflicted by illness, providing them with the strongest means of support.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) explains that "for those who are about to depart from this life, the church offers the person penance, anointing of the sick, and the Eucharist as Viaticum (food for the journey) given at the end of life." The anointing of the sick begins with the penitential right, followed by the Liturgy of the Word
and the anointing with oil of the sick.
Anointing of the sick can only be performed by a priest or a bishop. The sacrament serves as a communal celebration that provides:
- A connection to the communion of the saints
- Imitation of Christ's compassion
- Solidarity with all who suffer
- Union with Christ's passion
- Beacons of hope
- A witness of dignity
Learn more about the sacrament that blesses the ill and dying.
"Anointing of the Sick: Joined to Christ, Witnesses of Hope and Healing" via USCCB.org