Suffering illness

For those who are suffering illness...

spring flowers

Prayer for the sick

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.

Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And for all your love's sake. Amen.

(Saint Augustine)

In time of personal illness

O Jesus, you suffered and died for us; you understand our suffering.
Teach me to embrace my suffering: to bear it in union with you,
to offer it with you to atone for my sins
and to obtain your grace for those in need.

Calm my fears; increase my trust.
May I willingly accept your holy will
and become more like you in trial.

According to your will, restore me to health
so that I may continue to work for your honor and glory
and for the salvation of all. Amen.
Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for me.

hands in prayer

For those suffering with AIDS

Dear Lord,
Draw all people suffering with AIDS close to you.
Look with love on each one, especially the children.

Help us to understand their fears and anxieties,
that we and all their relatives and friends
may learn to live with them and to love them.

When life seems most difficult,
may they know the human touch of compassion and concern.

At times when their innermost being is torn and uncertain,
may they feel the sheltering nearness
of a merciful and caring God.

O God, you move in mysterious ways.
Grant those who suffer
the reassurance that you are their God
and they are your people.

For this we humbly pray,
in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

This sacrament was formerly called Extreme Unction and was given by a priest to a person in immediate danger of dying.

On many pages of the Gospels we read of the concern Jesus had for the sick. “He summoned the Twelve and sent them out two by two.... they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” (Mark 6:7-13)

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the practice of healing continued. Over time the practice was restricted to the deathbed and focused on final preparation for heaven (Extreme Unction).

The 2nd Vatican Council returned the sacrament to its original role; “for all who are seriously sick.” Extreme Unction is now called: “The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.”

Our physical, mental and spiritual health are inter-related. This anointing is directed at healing body, soul and spirit.

Anointing of the Sick in a home or hospital

The patient should be told that an anointing gives a greater sense of peace and, if God wills, an improvement in their condition.

  • The anointing begins with the Sign of the Cross with blessed water to remind us of our promise to die with Christ so that we might rise to new life with Him
  • The readings from Scripture are adapted to the condition of the sick person. The priest prays and assures the sick person of the prayers of the parish and invites the sick person to pray for the needs of the parishioners
  • The priest places his hands on the head of the person to be anointed, prays over the oil and anoints the forehead and hands of the sick person.
  • The priest prays for the sick person and invites all present to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Holy Communion may be received at this time.
  • The priest then blesses the sick person and all present.

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