March 19, 2016 we continue our diaconate journey…
One area that we focused on today was the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
The Decree: Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship States, “When the Church cares for the sick it serves Christ himself in the suffering members of the Mystical Body. When it follows the example of the Lord Jesus…the Church obeys his command to care for the sick.”
This sacrament takes away sins, strengthens soul of sick person arousing confidence in divine mercy, more able to bear trials and hardship of sickness, resist temptation, sometimes regain bodily health – “if this is expedient for the health of the soul,” for the sick and dying.
This Sacrament is also the concern of the whole Church, “By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of its presbyters, the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord so that he may raise them up and save them. The Church exhorts them, moreover, to contribute to the welfare of the whole people of God by associating themselves willingly with the passion and death of Christ.”
“The celebration of this sacrament consists especially in the laying on of hands by priests of the Church, the offering of the prayer of faith, and the anointing of
the sick with oil made holy by God’s blessing. This rite signifies the grace of the sacrament and confers it.”
Characteristics of this Sacrament include the following:
- Gives grace of Holy Spirit
- Whole person is helped and saved, helped to bear suffering bravely, fight against it.
- may receive return to physical health
- if needed, provides forgiveness of sin
- Faith is manifested.
- Sick person will be saved by personal faith and faith of the Church in the fullness of Paschal Mystery
- May be received more once
This Sacrament may be received by the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. A sick person before serious surgery, elderly people if notably weakened, sick children, those who have lost consciousness or reason.
It is important to educate the people to ask for the sacrament, to receive it with full faith and devotion. That they do not delay. IT is equally important to educate all those who care for the sick, teaching them the meaning and purpose of the sacrament.
This Sacrament is ordinarily exercised by bishops, pastors and their assistants, priests who are responsible for the sick or aged in hospitals and superiors of clerical religious institutes. The anointing occurs on forehead and hands or another suitable part of the body with the Oil of the Infirm which is one of the three oils blessed by the Archbishop during the Chrism Mass. (The other two are the Oli of Catechumens (used for Baptism) and the Holy Chrism (Used in Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders)).
Additional information on this sacrament can be found in Catechism of the Catholic Church – The Anointing of the Sick.
As part of this sacrament, the individual who is dying receives the Viaticum, preferably within the Mass. This is the body (and blood) of Christ which provides food for their journey. In Viaticum, the dying person is united with Christ in his passage out of this world to the Father. Through the prayers of commendation of the dying, the Church helps to sustain the union until it is brought to fulfillment after death.
If you go to Sacraments for the Dying in the Absence of a Priest. – Viaticum –, you will see that some aspects of the Viaticum may occur in the absence of a priest. If you are bringing the Viaticum to an individual and are not a priest ensure that the individual who is receiving it as well as those present understand that. As one who is baptized, you can, with training, bring the Viaticum to the dying as well as communion to those who are caring for them. You can anoint them and pray with them and over them as well as with all those present. Your prayers and anointing are done by one who has been baptized and not ordained.
There are currently 63 individuals in Holy Family Parish who are involved with Pastoral Care who take communion to the sick and homebound. If you are interested in either joining this ministry or in finding out more about it, please contact Mary Ternan (626) 403-6115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about what we have experienced in the diaconate (aka “that deacon thing”), please ask us or send us an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you would like to attend a Diaconate Information day, please attend one of the following:
Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Dominic Savio Parish, 13400 Bellflower Blvd. Bellflower, CA 90706
Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. John Chrysostom Parish, 546 E. Florence Ave. Inglewood, CA 90301.
If you are interested in becoming a Deacon or a Deacon Couple for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, please contact:
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241
Candy & Jay Krueger,
Diaconate Formation, Year IV,
Holy Family Church, South Pasadena, CA