Anointing of the Sick

The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived."(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1514)

 

Church law says that this sacrament can be administered to any Catholic who, having reach the age of reason, begins to be in danger of death by reason of illness or old age. It can be repeated if the sick person, having recovered, falls seriously ill again or if the same illness worsens. If there´s any doubt about the seriousness of the illness, or whether the individual has reached the age of reason (usually about seven years of age), the sacrament should be celebrated.

 

"By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ."(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499)

 

In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum. Communion in the body and blood of Christ, received at this moment of "passing over" to the Father, has a particular significance and importance. It is the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection, according to the words of the Lord: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." The sacrament of Christ once dead and now risen, the Eucharist is here the sacrament of passing over from death to life, from this world to the Father. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1524)

 

Arrangements for the sacrament can be made through the parish office, and it can appropriately be celebrated in church, after Mass. Communal celebrations are also arranged annually in the church as well as local care facilities. In all urgent cases, one of the priests should be contacted directly. If a priest is not reached on the parish line, 604-922-1371, please use the emergency numbers posted on the home page. There is also a pager used by the priest on call at Lions Gate Hospital: 604-331-9069.

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