Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

“By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself more closely to Christ’s Passion: in a certain way he is consecrated to bear fruit by configuration to the Savior’s redemptive Passion. Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church 1521

The Sacrament is offered to sick and elderly parishioners in homes, hospitals, and hospices by calling the Parish Office, 301-924-3838.

QUESTION:  Who can receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?  

ANSWER:  Essentially any Christian who is “in danger of death because of illness or old age” (CCC 1528).  The Anointing of the Sick isn’t a Sacrament of initiation but in some instances I believe that it does at least prepare us for the next stage or phase in our Christian lives.

QUESTION:  Who can administer the Sacrament? 

 ANSWER:  According to the CCC, “only priests (bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the Anointing of the Sick” (CCC 1516).

QUESTION:  Is there a biblical foundation to this Sacrament?  

ANSWER:  The Catechism points to Jas. 5:14-15 which states: “Is any among you sick?  Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of the faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

QUESTION:  Can someone receive this Sacrament more than once?  

ANSWER:  Yes.  If someone receives the Sacrament and their condition worsens, then they can receive it again.  Also if someone receives the Sacrament and improves but later becomes seriously ill again, then they can receive again as well.  The Anointing of the Sick can also be received before a major operation.