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380

Part Two

1518

Word and sacrament form an indivisible whole. The Lit-

urgy of the Word, preceded by an act of repentance, opens the

celebration. The words of Christ, the witness of the apostles,

awaken the faith of the sick person and of the community to ask

the Lord for the strength of his Spirit.

1519

The celebration of the sacrament includes the following

principal elements: the “priests of the Church”

133

—in silence—lay

hands on the sick; they pray over them in the faith of the Church

134

—this is the epiclesis proper to this sacrament; they then anoint

them with oil blessed, if possible, by the bishop.

These liturgical actions indicate what grace this sacrament

confers upon the sick.

IV.

T

he

E

ffects of

the

C

elebration

of

T

his

S

acrament

1520

A particular gift of the Holy Spirit.

The first grace of this

sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome

the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the

frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews

trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of

the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the

face of death.

135

This assistance from the Lord by the power of his

Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but

also of the body if such is God’s will.

136

Furthermore, “if he has

committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

137

1521

Union with the passion of Christ.

By the grace of this sacrament

the sick person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself

more closely to Christ’s Passion: in a certain way he is consecrated to

bear fruit by configuration to the Savior’s redemptive Passion. Suffer-

ing, a consequence of original sin, acquires a newmeaning; it becomes

a participation in the saving work of Jesus.

1522

An

ecclesial grace.

The sick who receive this sacrament,

“by freely uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ,”

“contribute to the good of the People of God.”

138

By celebrating

this sacrament the Church, in the communion of saints, intercedes

for the benefit of the sick person, and he, for his part, though the

133

Jas

5:14.

134 Cf.

Jas

5:15.

135 Cf.

Heb

2:15.

136 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1325.

137

Jas

5:15; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1717.

138

LG

11 § 2.

733

1535

1499

953