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Anointing of the Sick

Scripture:  “Call for the elders of the Church to pray over the sick and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”     James 5:14

As St. James has commissioned the Church, in his epistle he says: “That if there is any who are sick, let them send for the elders of the Church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith saves the sick person and the Lord will raise them up. And if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven.”

Photo courtesy of Kenn Anderson

In the spirit of the Church, we celebrate the Anointing of the Sick in several ways. Communally, which generally happens about once a month. The dates for anointing after the 4pm and 9am Masses are listed in the bulletin. Individually, as someone may call for anointing before a hospitalization or surgery, or when in hospice care during the last stages of life. Please call the Parish Office (414-464-5033).

Ordinarily a person is anointed once. But today one may come for anointing anytime one finds a need for it. The Sacrament of the Sick, as it is called, should no longer be looked upon as a “last rite,” but a sacrament of healing and strengthening - the person putting themselves on the journey with Christ through a difficult time. Old age itself can be a reason for being anointed, as the stages of our life change and become challenging. Because of the frequency with which we can receive the sacrament today, there is no longer a need to call for the sacrament immediately or in a rush at the moment of dying or death. The permission to receive this sacrament, as a sacrament of healing, frequently helps to eliminate the anxiety when a loved one is dying or is sick. Being united with Christ at any moment of challenge, pain, or anxiety can help a person in their final moments to find peace well before the time arrives.