Miscellaneous » Sacraments » Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick

The Anointing of the Sick is celebrated communally once a year at a Sunday Mass, usually around our patronal feast, St. Josaphat's feast day, on November 12. You may also call the Parish Office (773.327.8955) at any time to be anointed or have a family member anointed.

Who may be anointed?
Anyone, of any age, who is suffering from any short-term or chronic health issue. This includes those who are feeling diminished by the effect of advancing years. There is no “litmus test” for receiving this sacrament. Everyone is able to self-determine if they wish to be anointed.

Can I be anointed more than once?
Yes! Older Catholics may remember when most people waited to receive Extreme Unction as they were approaching death. In the revision of the sacraments, over 50 years ago, the original sense of this sacrament was restored. Anointing of the Sick is the way the local church community and the whole Church reaches out to her members who are ailing in any way. There is no limit to the number of times someone can receive this sacrament.

Do I have to go to Confession (the Sacrament of Reconciliation) first?
No, but our pastor is happy to make arrangements to have your confession heard before you are anointed.

Do I need to sit somewhere special in church?
No. You can sit anywhere in church. At the beginning of the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest will explain that each of those to be anointed will be asked to come forward two different times -- first for the imposition of hands when each person comes forward and the priest lays his hands on their head, calling down the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, after the prayer of thanksgiving over the holy oil has been proclaimed, the person to be anointed comes forward a second time and the priest blesses them on the forehead and on the palms of their hands with the holy oil. If you have any difficulty walking, you might find it more convenient to sit closer to the front of church. Or perhaps you may want to come forward for the imposition of hands, and stay in a front pew until you come forward the second time for the anointing on the forehead and hands.

Maybe this is also a good opportunity to remind everyone that we have a number of “cut-out” pews in church. These are the spaces/seats in which the pew in front has been shortened to allow for someone in a wheelchair, or on crutches or otherwise with some physical limitation, to sit in any of these special seats scattered throughout the church, because there is sufficient space to accommodate the wheel chair, crutches, etc.

Can I invite others to come?
Yes! Please feel free to invite other family members or friends or neighbors who would like to be anointed. There is no pre-registration and all are welcome.