Saying Farewell…to Last Rites
Once reserved for the dying, the Sacrament has become a Sacrament of healing to all at any time. Last Rites no longer exists - it is now the Anointing of the Sick.
The Church defines it this way:
In the Church’s Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin - and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
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.
When the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect, if it be God’s will, is that the person’s physical illness is healed. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.
It is tremendously distressing to the family of a dying person, or the priest, to have the pressure of arriving ‘in time’ to anoint a dying person, especially when that person has been ill for a time and could have received the Sacrament while still able to appreciate and participate in the Sacrament.
We invite those who suffer illness of body or soul to attend our newly established Healing Mass on the first Wednesday of every month starting in November and receive the grace of anointing while mobile.