The anointing of the sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, and also to those who are near the time of death. It is most likely one of the last sacraments one will receive. In more basic terms, it is a rite that is performed to convey God’s grace to the recipient, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The anointing of the sick conveys several graces and imparts gifts of strengthening in the Holy Spirit against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation, and conveys peace and fortitude (CCC 1520).
The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his/her own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age.
Who should receive the Sacrament? The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient. The Sacrament may be repeated if the sick person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again, or if, during the same illness, the person's condition becomes more serious. A person should be anointed before surgery when a dangerous illness is the reason for the intervention. Moreover, "older people” may be anointed if they are in weak condition even though no dangerous illness is present. Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be comforted by this sacrament.
To arrange for an annointing, please contact the rectory at 212-222-0666.