Sacrament of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick Sacrament is exactly what it sounds like. It is a prayerful celebration for someone or a group of people who are sick and are blessed with Holy Oil by the priest. It is not, as was often thought, a sign that someone is dying. It is not a magical ceremony; the person does not automatically improve following an anointing. God’s healing and loving presence are called in order for the sick person to be lifted and restored to health.
The blessing over the oil says it all. It is “oil intended to alleviate your people’s pain.” Oil is both soothing and healing. Oil blessed for the sick is a symbol of God’s Anointed One (Messiah). The anointed individual receives the healing and saving power of the One who saves (Messiah).
The oil that is used is Olive Oil. On Holy Thursday, the Bishop and priests bless it at the ‘Chrism Mass’ at the Cathedral. Each year, the holy oils are distributed to each parish and hospital for use in the Sacrament of the Sick throughout the year.