When a Catholic is very sick, the Church anoints the person with oil in a special ritual of healing called Anointing of the Sick. This rite is one way in which the Church continues the healing ministry of Jesus. The healing offered by this anointing is forgiveness of sins, hope and inner peace, sometimes physical healing, and an assurance of God's steadfast care, even in death.
In the past, this sacrament was often kept strictly for those close to death. In more recent years the Church has encouraged greater use of this sacrament for a serious illness but not necessarily life-threatening. As with all the sacraments, this anointing has significance for the whole Church. It reminds us of our call to wholeness and our call to be a sign of salvation to the world. Wherever there is brokenness, we are to be instruments of Christ's healing touch.
At Our Lady of Dolours, a communal ceremony of the Anointing of the Sick is held during the 12:15 pm Mass on the third Friday of the month. A person may be anointed during any weekday Mass before surgery or medical treatment, and at other times by request to a priest. Contact the parish office for more details.
To celebrate the annual World Day of Prayer for the Sick (13 February 2015), our parish usually anoints those who are sick at the usual February Healing Mass.