Healing Mass/Anointing of the Sick

Healing Mass/Anointing of the Sick
  • 03/04/2023
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • St. Catherine Labouré Catholic Church
    4124 Mt. Abraham Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92111

We will have a special Mass with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. After the Mass, members of the Healing Prayer Ministry team will be available for anyone seeking extra prayers for healing. All are invited. “When the Church cares for the sick, it serves Christ himself in the suffering members of his mystical Body. When it follows the example of the Lord Jesus, who “went about doing good and healing all” (Acts 10:38), the Church obeys the command to care for the sick” (Vatican Council II, Constitution on the Liturgy, art 75).

Theology of the Sacrament of the Sick: As in all the Sacraments, the priest who anoints the sick person represents Christ and acts in the person of Christ (in persona Cristi). It is Christ who anoints and has compassion for the person and desires to heal them, according to their need and condition. A person anointed might receive a physical cure, but for sure they will receive spiritual healing, if they are open to it.

Who can receive the Anointing of the Sick? The Sacrament is meant to link the suffering person to Jesus Christ, especially to his passion, so as to find healing, strength, hope, peace, patience, and the confidence of not being abandoned. In years past, the Anointing of the sick was only given to the dying, and was called “Last Rites”. Sine Vatican II, the understanding of the Sacrament has broadened to include the aspect of healing for anyone in serious illness or suffering, and the hope of recovery, especially for those preparing for surgery. The various prayers the priest says at the end of the anointing suggest the various contexts in which it can be used:

  • At the time of death (the traditional use, or “Last Rites”)
  • Before or after surgery
  • During a prolonged illness
  • For someone in pain or agony
  • For those weak from the burden of years (chronic illness/suffering that comes with aging), even if no serious/mortal illness is present
  • Sick children may also be anointed if they have a serious illness.

Someone who has died should not be anointed, unless there is a doubt as to whether they have died yet or not; rather the priest would say the prayers for the dead, especially as a source of comfort for the loved ones who may be gathered around the deceased.

How often can I get the anointing? Once a person has been anointed, they do not need to be anointed again for the same concern. For example if anointed before surgery, they don’t need it again after surgery; if anointed when in remote danger of death, they don’t need it again when death is imminent.  If someone is anointed due to some illness or suffering, then has a  recovery and relapse, or the situation worsens they can receive it again. For those who receive the Sacrament due to chronic illness or the pains of age, it should not be repeated too often, once every two or three months at most is sufficient. When not to get the Anointing:  To receive the Sacrament if not really needed (or too often) waters down the meaning of it for those who really need it, and for the minister who acts with compassion in the name of Jesus Christ.

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