page loader

Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Catholic Church for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. It is a source of healing for the sick, rather than the final act of the Church for the dying.

The Sacrament enables the sick or aged person to be anointed with the Oil of the Sick, to experience the healing and strength of Jesus Christ and to be supported by a praying community.

Celebration of Anointing of the Sick

The sacrament may be celebrated during Mass, or at a hospital or nursing home, or in the person’s home. It is a celebration of the Church, where its members offer those who are sick the support of faith and prayer.

Who celebrates it?

The sacrament is celebrated by a priest with a baptised and confirmed adult Catholic who is seriously ill, or who is about to undergo a serious medical procedure, or who has grown frail due to age. The sacrament is not administered to anyone who has already died. Prayers for the Dead are prayed for the deceased.

When do we celebrate it?

The sick and their families and friends are encouraged to notify a priest and ask for the sacrament at the onset of serious illness. It is not necessary to wait till a person is palliative or actively dying. If possible, it is better to celebrate the sacrament while a person is still able to consciously participate in the celebration and experience spiritual consolation. Many parish communities offer communal opportunities for the Anointing of the Sick several times during the year, particularly in Lent and Advent. Such gatherings allow the sick or elderly to experience the support of the community.


The local parish priest can be contacted at your local parish office to arrange for the Anointing of the Sick.