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|Anointing of the Sick|
As Christ had a great love for the sick, so that care and ministry continues in the Church. Any time a parishioner is sick at home or is going to the hospital for surgery, it is important to invite a priest to come and pray for the individual and anoint them. Yes, children also can receive the Sacrament of the Sick. It is an important lesson of life and faith, that we teach our children of the importance of praying for the sick and to impress upon them the healing ministry of the Church.
The Sacrament of the Sick can be received as often as requested. If there is an emergency or an accident, a priest should be called as soon as possible. In the excitement of the emergency room and the suddenness of serious accidents when people are in danger of dying, there is a tendency to forget this Sacrament of the Sick - and - when it is certainly needed for the patient. The presence of a priest/deacon/parish staff person can be most comforting and assuring to a family who is in need of prayer and support.
When a family member or friend has reached a time of life and years, when a person's medical condition has declined and the natural aging process of the body is breaking down, a priest should be invited by the family to come for a visit. When life is waning, for many people and the family, the comfort and support of the Church is important. The dying person should have the gift of the Eucharist - "Holy Viaticum" - to help them on their final journey.
There are comforting prayers, the Psalms and the Litany of the Saints, that can be a source of great spiritual strength and enlightenment. Yes, there are the "Prayers for the Dying", that can bring much consolation for the family as the dying person prepares themselves to meet the Risen Christ.