"Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of the faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."
- James 5:14-15
The ministry of Jesus was full of miracles that were marked by physical signs. At different times He raised up the dead by a grasp of their hand, He made the mute hear by touching their ears, gave sight to the blind with a bit of mud and spittle, and perform numerous other miracles simply at the touch of His hand.
The power of the human touch is preserved in the Anointing of the Sick, in which the priest lays hands upon the person who is ill and anoints their head and hands with holy oil. The touch of Jesus cast out sin and brought health of body to many during His ministry and He continues to do so through His priests. If you or someone you know is seriously ill or preparing to have major surgery, you are encouraged to call the parish office and arrange for a visit from the pastor to celebrate the Anointing.
Last Rites is the tradition name of the ritual of prayers at the hour of death, which may include the Anointing of the Sick, Apostolic Pardon, Holy Communion (if able to receive), and Prayers of Commendation. These rites are especially powerful and ought to be celebrated if at all possible with those whose death is imminent. If a loved one is near death and in need of Anointing and/or Last Rites, please call the parish office immediately.