During normal business hours: 770-887-9861
After Hours: 678-294-0212
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is administered to those parishioners who are ill or facing
a serious health issue. Through this sacrament, the Holy Spirit’s gifts of strength, faith, peace and courage are received by the sick person. Through their illness and suffering they share and are united with the suffering of Jesus for the building up of the Church. They become a witness to our faith as the Church allows Jesus’ compassion and healing for the sick to shine through them. This sacramental rite is led by a priest in a family home, hospital, nursing home or church which includes a Penitential Rite, Liturgy of the Word and Sacramental Anointing with sacred oil. These sacramental celebrations are “a source of strength amid pain and weakness, hope amid despair” and a “joyful encounter” for the entire community (Christifidelis Laici,no.54).
When to arrange for the Sacrament
Sickness and death are inevitable elements of Catholic family life. Some family members might suffer serious illness and yet recover and others might come to their final illness and death. Arranging for a priest to visit in either case is extremely important so as to allow him to bring the strength and comfort of the sacraments to the sick person.
A priest called to a person in danger of death, will administer “the Last Rites,” which consist of the sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist (which will be administered as Holy Viaticum), and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick). The Last Rites also include the Apostolic Blessing, which, if received with the proper dispositions, will gain for the dying person a plenary indulgence at the hour of death. As death becomes imminent, the priest will also lead the prayers for the dying which are contained in the Roman Ritual.
Be sure to notify the priest when you or a family member is seriously ill, confined to bed, or preparing for an operation. It is the priest’s pastoral duty to visit you in the hospital, nursing facility or at home when this happens. Besides the opportunity to receive the sacraments, the sick call also strengthens the priest-parishioner relationship, and in some cases even restores it (e.g. in the case where a sick person has been away from the sacraments or from the church altogether).
If the danger of death is not imminent, contact the parish office in a timely manner at 770.887.9861 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to assure the sick person is able to receive the sacraments with better presence of mind and with conscious preparation. We should not wait until the family member is dying to send for a priest. The sick person cannot go to confession and receive Holy Communion if unconscious. Often persons are afraid that the priest will frighten the sick person. Rather, the sacraments should be viewed as a source of comfort and consolation to the sick. The infirmed are usually much happier after they have seen the priest.
In imminent danger of death, the priest should be called immediately, of course, at any hours of the day or night at 678.294.0212 and leave a call-back number. A priest will respond to you as soon as possible.