'Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.'
from the liturgy of the anointing of the sick
Anointing of the Sick
Since earliest times, Christians facing ill-health or death, have called on the Church for prayer to help them draw close to God and prepare them spiritually for what the future may bring. If you are facing a significant operation or medical treatment the clergy are available for the ministry of anointing and prayer to help you at this time. Anointing of the sick (known as Holy Unction) involves making the sign of the cross on your forehead and on the palms of your hands with the oil of the sick. It is an intimate and special moment in which God can speak to us of his love and mercy even in the most difficult circumstances, reminding us that he is always with us. You may also wish to make your Confession and receive Holy Communion to strengthen you at a difficult time.
Christians believe that death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life with God. Nevertheless, the transition from this life to God’s kingdom is not easy, and the sacraments of the Church are there to help individuals to draw close to God and to receive his comfort and grace. The ‘Last Rites’ as they are known, can include Anointing, Confession and Confession depending on individual need and state of health at the time. It may be necessary to seek a priest urgently and at unexpected times for the last rites of the dying. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the clergy at any time if there is a pastoral emergency.