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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

379

II.

W

ho

R

eceives and

W

ho

A

dministers

T

his

S

acrament

?

In case of grave illness . . .

1514

TheAnointing of the Sick “is not a sacrament for those only

who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the

faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age,

the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly

already arrived.”

130

1515

If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his

health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this

sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition

becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting

to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation.

The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pro-

nounced.

“. . . let him call for the presbyters of the Church”

1516

Only priests (bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the

Anointing of the Sick.

131

It is the duty of pastors to instruct the

faithful on the benefits of this sacrament. The faithful should

encourage the sick to call for a priest to receive this sacrament. The

sick should prepare themselves to receive it with good disposi-

tions, assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community,

which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through

their prayers and fraternal attention.

III.

H

ow

I

s

T

his

S

acrament

C

elebrated

?

1517

Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a

liturgical and communal celebration,

132

whether it takes place in

the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a

whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within

the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord’s Passover. If circum-

stances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded

by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the

Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ’s Passover the Eucharist

should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the

“viaticum” for “passing over” to eternal life.

130

SC

73; cf. CIC, cann. 1004 § 1; 1005; 1007; CCEO, can. 738.

131 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1697; 1719; CIC, can. 1003; CCEO, can. 739 § 1.

132 Cf.

SC

27.

1140

1524