Divine Worship


Anointing of the Sick in the Parish

Pastoral Notes - Anointing of the Sick


Communal celebrations of the anointing of the sick are a regular feature of parish life in many places. Such celebrations may take place at Sunday or daily Eucharist, or outside Mass when a form is judged to be pastorally suitable. Parishes will find excellent opportunity for collaborative ministry when two or more parishes join in common celebration. Such celebrations will follow the liturgical directives in Chapter IV (97-148) of Pastoral Care of the Sick.

Outside these communal celebrations, individuals should be encouraged to seek the anointing when they face serious illness or surgery because of such illness. This availability may take several forms:

a) the priest could go to the home of the person to be anointed. The participation of family and friends should be strongly encouraged to witness to the ecclesial character of the sacrament

b) the parish could invite the sick person to participate in a scheduled weekday or Sunday Eucharist along with family and friends

c) nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, such as hospice facilities, could schedule communal anointing liturgies in their institutional calendars.