Sunday, 24 August 2008

Sacrament of the Sick

Who can receive the Sacrament of the Sick? Just how sick do you have to be? In the past it seems to me it was basically for those at death's door- but there seems to be some recognition that chronic illness can be helped with this Sacrament.
I don't know the rules.
Can someone in chronic pain or a sick child not nearly dead receive it?
If anyone knows I would be appreciative.


Fr Ray Blake said...

The custom in E&W seems to be to give the sacrament to anyone who asks for it, or as in the case of many Lourdes diocesan pilgrimages anyone who comes forward for it, even with a headache.
Rome has repeatedly insisted that it should only be given in the case of "serious illness", with some connection with death.
Our Tradition would suggest that it was given only when death was imminent and certain.
Unfortunately, now priest seem to have quite different attitudes to its reception, and there are now clear guidelines.

Ponte Sisto said...

I see what you mean. (CCC 1514 ff)

Fr Ray's explanation about how it has been celebrated in recent years (and in certain places) certainly helps to explain the confusion.

(In grave situations, it is good to know that it grants the forgiveness of sins where the Sacrament of Penance is not possible, too (Cf 1532).)

Some liberal elements that I've come across have their own "healing services" comprising of the laying on of hands and anointing with unblessed oil - usually lay-led. This helps to add to the confusion, I think.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thank you both. I have concerns about healing services. But then they don't seem to exist in my neck of the woods.

I wish there was something for chronic debilitating illness that isn't going to kill.
Ah well.

And I could never afford Lourdes. Perhaps one day if we are blessed I will go with my little girl and get us both cured eh? LOL

Ponte Sisto said...

I haven't forgotten your wish to visit Lourdes and pray that you shall!

Rita said...

Lourdes is special but surely any act of pilgrimage, no matter how constrained by budget, is always filled with things that are good.

I think we don't make enough of pilgrimage these days. We should all try to do one a year, even if it is only to another church. The preparation and the prayers can be so special.

Then again, I too will also be praying you and your little one will get to Lourdes in the not too distant future!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Just re-read what I wrote,
I should have said "there are NO clear guideline".

gemoftheocean said...

WSNS: [If it was me, I'd make a pilgrimage down to Brighton!]

Adrienne said...

Just pray and ask. We don't have to place ourselves in another location to achieve healing.

We so often don't pray correctly. You need to ask and know that your prayer is answered. It may not manifest itself in you life right away or maybe not at all in the way you expect. God gives us what we need, not always what we think we want.

When you place too much importance on a place (such as Lourdes) it starts to resemble magic. People who are unable to visit Lourdes are healed all the time.

Kit said...

I was just chatting with a niece about prayer over the weekend - she's trying to discern her vocation - religious life or motherhood, and she told me what she's done, and you could do, too - send a letter explaining your dilemma with prayer requests to the abbey/ monastery of a contemplative order. I think she sent hers to the Carmelites (she is a self-titled "Little Flower Child") but I did not ask her specifically.

Aubrey said...

I am only 30 but have received this sacrament twice: once at my mother's request (she was scared of my heart problem) and once before a minor heart surgery fifteen years ago. I am nowhere near death's door and wasn't at the time that I received this sacrament. Between the sacrament and the surgery, I have had no more problems with my heart. Our priest was glad to oblige.

Marie said...

Here in Australia we have a special service once a year for the Sacrament of the Sick..Now knowing that our Church has been infiltrated by relativism I am not sure if that is correct procedure?

We have Eucharistic Ministers who also take the Eucharist to those unable to make it to Mass.
The only problem I have with this was when I heard that one of our Echaristic Ministers rather than take the Eucharist immediately to the sick person chose instead to take it home because she was tired and then took it to the sick person the next day. Surely that is wrong.

Glad to see you back WhiteStoneNameSeeker:) I took a breat too ;).

Peace to you:)


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thank you for the comments.
I have prayed for healing and God has said "Not yet." I continue to pray because He didn't say 'never'. But even if He had I think I would still ask.
I was wondering about the Sacrament of the Sick because there are times when things are pretty bad and difficult to cope with.
The same for my little girl. Sometimes I think the Sacrament would just give her the strength to get through. I wish she had received it a couple of years ago when she was just a year old and things were so so bad I thought I might lose her.
Anyway-I will keep praying.
Thank you everyone.