Sacraments & Prayers for the Sick
Sickness and pain have always been a heavy burden for people, and somewhat difficult to explain. Christians like other people are prone to such trials but their faith does help them to understand to some extent this mystery of suffering and to bear pain more courageously. They also know that Christ loved the sick and often during his life healed them. Sickness, while it is related to fallen human nature, cannot be considered as a punishment for personal sins (See John 9:3). Christ Himself was sinless and yet he bore all the sufferings of his passion and understood human sorrow.
Anointing of the sick is a Sacrament of Faith - faith in the minister of the sacrament and faith for the one who receives it. The kernel of the Sacramental celebration consists of the Priest's Prayer and the Anointing. The formula used, in keeping with the promise made by Christ through St James in his Apostolic letter, stresses not only prayers for a sick person's forgiveness but also for "raising up" and salvation.
"Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with
the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen. "
"May the Lord, who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up. Amen."
Thus is expressed the care of Christ and the Church for sick people. Christ is working again through the Sacrament with his sympathy and healing, as he did when He was on earth.
Sickness and sin go together. This does not mean that a person's personal sins are always punished by sickness, or that those who are sick are more sinful than others. Yet ill health was introduced into the world by sin and is part of the sinful condition of fallen humanity. It not only weakens God's gift of
natural life, but also makes it more difficult for a person to live the supernatural life and hinders people in their attempt to lift themselves above the things of the world. It can nevertheless be turned to good account. If borne with fortitude it strengthens the human spirit and if it is meekly accepted and
offered up in union with the sufferings of Christ, it makes the Christian more like the Master, gives a fuller share of his life and helps to make amends for sin.
Christ came to eliminate suffering. He came to give fullness of life, both natural and supernatural. It is true that his main purpose was to give supernatural life, but he intends us to enjoy fullness of natural life also. When he was on earth he cured the sick and sent his Apostles out to do the same in his name. When we come to enjoy the full fruits of Redemption in the world to come, there will be no more sickness or death. "Death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21, 4).
Christ still continues his ministry to the sick. He does it now chiefly through the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, but it is a special work of many religious men and women - think of the Catholic hospitals. The sacrament helps those who are seriously ill to bear their sickness and gives a new
injection of his life so that they may lift up mind and heart to God in spite of pain and weakness.
When should I receive the Anointing of the Sick?
The Anointing of the Sick may be received by the elderly and all those with serious or long-term illnesses several times a year.
Ask nursing staff to notify the Hospital Chaplain for Communion or the Sacrament of Anointing.
SICK, CONVALESCING OR HOUSEBOUND
To receive the Sacraments contact the Parish Office and a Priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion will come.
GOING TO HOSPITAL FOR SURGERY
If time allows - be sure to receive the Sacrament of Anointing beforehand, either at the First Friday Anointing Mass or upon request, if that is not possible, through the Parish Office.
PRAYERS FOR THE SICK
Contact the Parish Office and names will be placed in the bulletin for 3 weeks - after which you will need to re-contact us if you require a further 3 weeks. During this time the whole parish community will include those who are sick in their personal prayers and as a community during the celebration of all our Masses.
FIRST FRIDAY ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Each First Friday of the month during the 11:45am Mass the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is administered after the homily.
Parish Office: (02) 4332 2216 or