Anointing of the Sick
"Through this Holy Anointing, may the Lord strengthen you with the grace of the Holy Spirit, may the Lord free you from sin and raise you up."
A sacrament is an outward sign of God's presence and action in our lives. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the sign through which the Church prays for God's healing presence and action in the life of a person who is seriously ill or injured.
This sacrament is not primarily a sacrament to be administered at the time of death, but rather at the onset of serious illness or injury, when the prayers for mental, physical, emotional and spiritual healing and strength can be most effective. A cancer diagnosis, impending surgery, the onset of advanced age and its challenges, and a serious accident are all occasions where celebrating the Sacrament of Anointing may be appropriate.
Anointing of the Sick may take place at church, at home, in a hospital or other health care facility, or another suitable place. It is best celebrated when the sick person is conscious and able to participate, and in the presence of family and friends.
If a loved one is in a hospital or another health care facility, ask the nurse to arrange for the hospital priest chaplain to come visit.
If you are planning to enter the hospital for a non-emergency procedure and would like to be anointed prior to going to the hospital, one of our priests would be glad to take a few minutes after Mass to gather with you and your family for the anointing. Just ask.
If someone is confined to their home and would like a priest come to anoint them, contact the parish office at (516) 731-4220 and one of the priests will call back to arrange a visit.
If someone is dying, a priest can visit to offer last rites, which involve blessing the person, giving communion if they are able to receive this food for the journey to God, and praying the prayers to commend them to the Lord. This is different from the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick which is meant to ask for healing and strength for someone who is facing serious illness or the serious effects of old age.