That many of us know this Sacrament as
Extreme Unction and believe it may only be
received just before one's death?
In fact, this Sacrament is meant to be used
whenever we have a special need for healing
prayer: It is a "sacrament of healing" in the church.
We may receive this sacrament:
- at the onset of serious illness
- before serious surgery
- due to advanced age
- when a serious illness advances to a new stage.
The Sacrament of the Sick is administered on the First Friday of each month at the 8:05 AM Mass or by appointment with the pastor.
The Sacrament of the Sick is perhaps best known by the phrase, Extreme Unction, two Latin words which are known to many as "The Last Rites". What are the Last Rites?
The Rites involve prayers for the forgiveness of sins, prayers of intercession and anointing, and the actual anointing with the holy oil for the infirm. These were traditionally only experienced at a time close to death, therefore the term "Last Rites".
The renaming of the sacrament to "The Anointing of the Sick" was brought about when there was a realization of the need to reach out in prayer to God and others at various times when we are seriously ill or perhaps in the process of dying.
Each month on First Friday at the 8:05 AM Mass the gathered community prays in union with those who come to receive our support and prayers as they experience this sacramental moment. The persons being anointed that day come to the front pew of any section of the church and following the homily, the priest will anoint all who have requested this special sacramental prayer in closeness with God and community.
At other times, individuals will ask the priest for anointing as they approach surgery, or emergency situation, and there isn't time to wait for First Friday. Then it is important to call the parish office, and be anointed either in one's home or at the hospital.
At the area Catholic hospitals, there are priest-chaplains available to assist in emergency situations. At all of the other hospitals, the chaplain's or spiritual offices will find a priest for the anointing as they are able.
At Shawnee Mission Medical, Overland Park Regional, and St. Luke's, the Johnson County priests go out for emergency anointings as necessary and these are arranged through Chaplain Kate Zon who works for all Catholics in the Johnson County region.
For more information, contact Fr. Keith Lunsford, 913-660-1126; firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pat Centner, 913-660-1120; email@example.com.