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Chapter 19. Anointing the Sick and the Dying • 257


1. How would you describe your reaction to illnesses you have had?

What do you expect of caregivers? How have you been moved to

pray and seek the spiritual resources of the Church?

2. If you have been present at the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick,

what were your impressions? Why is it important to be aware of the

proper time to call the priest?

3. From a faith perspective, what value does an experience of illness

have for an individual and for the parish community to which he or

she belongs? Why is it important to acknowledge and incorporate

those who are sick and dying into the faith community?


• “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters

[priests] 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 com-

mitted any sins, he will be forgiven” (Jas 5:14-15).

• The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is for those who are seri-

ously ill or in danger of death or suffering the difficulties of old age.

The Sacrament may be received each time the believer falls seriously

ill or an illness worsens (cf. CCC, no. 1529).

• Only priests and bishops may administer the Sacrament of the

Anointing of the Sick. This is because one effect of this Sacrament

can be the forgiveness of sin. They use Oil of the Sick blessed by the

bishop or, in necessity, an oil blessed by the priest.

• The rite of the Anointing of the Sick includes the anointing of the

forehead and hands of the sick or other parts of the body accompa-

nied by the liturgical prayer that asks for the grace of the Sacrament.

• The gifts of this Sacrament include uniting the sick person with

Christ’s Passion, for the person’s well-being and that of the Church;

strength to endure patiently the sufferings of illness and old age; the