The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

How can we decide if we should ask to be anointed or ask to have a loved one anointed? If you are asking yourself this question, that indicates that most likely it is appropriate to call your priest . 

  • A sick person may be anointed before surgery, whether or not a serious illness is the reason for the surgery.
  • Elderly people may be anointed if they have become notably weakened even though no serious illness is present.
  • Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by this sacrament.
  • People of all ages, including children, who suffer from a serious illness or are facing major surgery can be anointed.

And if you are still unsure ask Father Bob! 

The anointing of the sick is administered by a priest to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness. This sacrament, unlike some of our other sacraments, can be administered more than once, especially if a person has a chronic illness.

Does a person have to be dying to receive this sacrament? No. The Catechism says,

“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” (CCC 1514).


Do you have more questions? This link will give you great insight into this often misunderstood sacrament. God bless you.

Please call the office at 717-272-5674 during the day and after hours call 717-708-6698.

Note: Please notify the parish office 717-272-5674 when any family member or parishioner is in the hospital, a rehab center, a nursing home or is homebound and would welcome a parish visitor. Current laws preclude health care institutions from divulging any patient information. Please advise the office staff whether confession, communion, or anointing of the sick is requested.


Anointing of the Sick in the Catholic Church

“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)

“The Lord Jesus, who went about doing good works and healing sickness and infirmity of every kind, commanded his disciples to care for the sick, to pray for them, and to lay hands on them. In this celebration we shall entrust our sick brothers and sisters to the care of the Lord, asking that he will enable them to bear their pain and suffering in the knowledge that, if they accept their share in the pain of his own passion, they will also share in its power to give comfort and strength.”

Anointing of the Sick Resources

Do you have a “Sick Call Set” in your home? Consider purchasing one today.