When the Church cares for the sick, it serves Christ Himself in the suffering members of his Mystical Body, the Church. The ‘anointing of the sick’ is one of the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. It is not only for those on the point of death – as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger from sickness or old age, the appropriate time to receive this sacrament has certainly arrived. Do not delay, therefore, in calling the priest when a person is taken ill.
The sick person is anointed on the forehead and the hands with the formula. ‘Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up. Amen.’
Prepare a table, covered with a white cloth, and place it so that it can be seen by the sick person. Place on the table. A Crucifix between two lighted candles, holy water, and a small glass of water.
Patients in hospital
All hospitals have a Catholic priest attached. It is always helpful to notify Hospital Chaplains where Catholics have been admitted, whether they be General, Geriatric or Psychiatric Hospitals.