Sacrament of the Sick
In this sacrament the healing power of God's love is experienced by those who are seriously ill. They receive peace and strength to bear the burden of their illness, and courage to unite themselves with the sufferings of Christ for the good of the whole Church. Together with this healing of soul, God sometimes grants healing of body if this be his will. As part of the healing, the sick person also receives forgiveness of their sins.
Christ sent the apostles out to preach the Good News and to heal, continuing the ministry of Jesus himself. When the Church celebrates this sacrament, the healing touch of Christ is brought to the aid of those who suffer. This sacrament is rightly celebrated by anyone who suffers a serious illness, not only by those who are near to death. It may be repeated each time a person falls ill, or if their illness worsens. Near to death, it may be accompanied by the giving of Holy Communion as food for the final journey towards God.
The Sacrament of Healing in the Parish
A special Mass during which the Sacrament of Healing is administered is celebrated each July usually on a Sunday afternoon. All parishioners who are unwell either physically or mentally are invited to come along. It is stressed that they do not need to be at death’s door to receive this Sacrament of God’s love. For those who miss the Mass other opportunities to receive this sacrament will be available in the remaining weeks of July.
The Sacrament of Healing is also given during the parish priest’s routine rounds of the parish to the housebound, during some weekday Masses on request and at other times by appointment. Parishioners about to go into hospital or undergo medical proceedures are invited to request the Sacrament.