Anointing of the Sick & Viaticum
“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” (CCC #1499)
Throughout the life of our universal Church we have prayed with and for the sick. At Christ the King we continue this tradition through our prayer chain, our bulletin, weekday and weekend Masses, and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. If you or a family member are experiencing illness or facing death, please do not hesitate contact our parish office. After hours, please use our sacramental emergency line (574) 273-6709 and leave a message so that a priest can call you back. We will ensure that you receive the pastoral care you need.
Periodically throughout the year, Christ the King will offer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at the 12:15 PM Mass. Check the bulletin for announcements regarding future dates.
“A community must reach out in purposeful and sensitive ways to members who are sick or sorrowful or often absent. When members retire or encounter a breakdown of health, we must have communities to receive and provide for them. We gather as a community to anoint any brother threatened by serious sickness or injury or disabled by age, and appeal in prayer for the recovery of his body and the generous perseverance of his spirit. And when we come to die, we need to know that especially then our confreres stand by us, for we are sustained and remembered all the more in their prayers.” —Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross (4.37)
Who receives this sacrament?
The Church teaches that this sacrament may be administered to anyone who is experiencing or facing a grave illness. It is not a Sacrament only for those at the point of death. It is fitting to receive the sacrament prior to a serious surgery or if a particular illness worsens. If you are ever unsure if a friend of loved one should receive an anointing, please contact the parish office.
Why ask for this sacrament?
There are many gifts and effects of this sacrament. It is not just a sacrament that is intended to cure physically—even more importantly, it is a sacrament that heals the soul with God’s grace, love, and peace. Anointing with oil is meant to impart strength and inner courage, unite the sick with Christ’s own suffering, extend forgiveness of sins if the Sacrament of Reconciliation cannot be celebrated, and provide preparation for the final journey into eternal life.
What is Viaticum?
Viaticum is the “last sacrament of the Christian.” When someone is at the point of death, the sick receive the Eucharist as Viaticum. Our brothers and sisters who are passing over to the Father receive this last communion as “the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection,” as Christ himself tells us in the Gospel of St. John, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”