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Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (no longer referred to as Extreme Unction or Last Rites) is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for those in immediate danger of death but also for those who are extremely sick, preparing for surgery or a major medical procedure or very aged.

When a priest confers this Sacrament, the individual receives from the Holy Spirit the Graces of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age.

"Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you" (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).

If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, they can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. 

Finally, for those who are about to leave this life, the Sacrament completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life and fortifies the individual for their final journey. In such cases, the priest will also often offer the Eucharist in the form of Holy Viaticum (food for the journey).   

You can ask for anointing of the sick whenever you are in need of strengthening, but especially when:

  • Undergoing surgery
  • Struggling with chronic or serious illness
  • Coping with mental illness
  • Growing older and feeling weaker even though no illness is present
  • During the course of recovery if the condition changes
 

Please contact the Parish Center at      (650) 361-1411 to request an Anointing.

 

Anointing of the Sick for the dying:

If you have a loved one who is actively dying, please do not wait until the last moment to call the priest for Anointing. He may not be immediately available, and your loved one may not receive the sacrament in time.

At the very start of a serious illness is the time to call the priest for anointing - not at the very end, at the moment of death.

 

Anointing can be done at any time for the living and is reserved only for the living.  Priests are not allowed to anoint those who have already died, because all the Sacraments are for the living. 


For those in the hospital, please contact the hospital chaplain.