Anointing of the Sick - alternatives for those excluded?


Our parish is doing Anointing of the Sick this weekend during mass. Since I am not allowed to participate or receive, how can I maybe receive a prayer or blessing? Or is that not allowed either?

I don’t know what to do if there is some sort of blessing or prayer, how do I indicate that’s why I’m there since everyone else will be in line for anointing. I don’t want to embarrass myself or make the priest uncomfortable and I’ve never been to a healing service where everyone wasn’t allowed to participate, so I don’t know the process. It’s a pretty big parish so a lot will participate since it’s cold and flu season, a lot of stuffy noses. I really would appreciate a blessing if I am allowed to have one. I’m pretty weak & and worried about the surgery c next week. Thanks to anyone who might know how this works.


I would suggest you approach the priest after Mass for a blessing.

You would simply remain seated during the anointing.

Anointing is for serious illnesses, not stuffy noses. Hopefully people will be properly educated by the priest on what anointing is for.

Again, I encourage you to approach the priest outside of Mass for a general blessing.


My suggestion would be to make an act of contrition and say the spiritial communion prayer…

Ask your priest how else you could participate


Given what’s been posted, I’m more concerned that the priest is properly educated on what anointing is for.



A stuffy nose for the elderly can become very dangerous, leading to pneumonia, breathing problems and more. They can lead to mortal illnesses easily.


I may be wrong, but I believe you are also allowed the sacrament if you are going in for serious surgery. General rule is surgery with general anesthesia, or severe surgery with risk. (i.e. getting a mole removed is not serious) Speak with your priest beforehand, preferably not 5 minutes beforehand.



You raise a pertinent point. I’d suggest, though, that we wait until it *has *led to something serious (not even necessarily “very dangerous”)…as the very notion of this Sacrament requires.




The Ritual states: “A sick person may be anointed before surgery whenever a serious illness is the reason for the surgery” (n. 10).



The OP is not a Catholic.

That is the basis for indicating she cannot receive the anointing.

The pastor may decide that if her surgery is serious enough, she may confess and receive anointing in anticipation of her full communion with the Church. That would be up to him. The OP should approach the priest privately as I suggested and discuss her situation with him.


If and when it does lead to a more serious illness, then the priest can administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick----if and when, not before.


The OP is having surgery next week. However she is not Catholic. Perhaps her priest could at least pray over her.


I agree. I don’t doubt they (the priests) know what the anointing is for, but I know that I’ve overhead several parishioners talking about it and saying how they were “definitely going up for that because it’s just been one cold after another and I’m sick of having stuffy noses and listening to my kids cough”. :confused:

I spoke to the priest and he said I wasn’t eligible because I am not received and not allowed sacraments and also because I’m not gravely ill. But I actually am seriously ill, I just didn’t want to explain my personal stuff during a break and I also get emotional about it, which is embarrassing. I’m scheduled for next week for the surgery, it’s always far more likely to have an issue that could be fatal when you have an illness that is the cause of the surgery. I’m sort of wavering between getting some experimental surgeries done to see if they can help and trying to hold on until confirmation so I don’t have to be confirmed in a hospital bed.I guess that sounds selfish when I write it out :blush: Maybe I will go to a vigil mass instead so it’s not an issue.


I agree it’s not something to discuss 5minutes before, that’s why I am hoping to get some guidance on what to do since it’s already been explained to me that if I’m not Catholic yet, I can’t have any sacraments… I am literally wondering what do I do? Is there a special line for those who are excluded? Or do you just ask for a blessing only when you get up there? Is it during mass or afterwards? They know who I am so they would know I’m excluded, I just really don’t know what the procedure is. There was a communication that mentioned that the priests could offer blessings/prayers for those who are excluded if it was indicated, but I don’t know exactly what that means. I’m picturing it being like communion during mass and our parish doesn’t do the “cross your arms if you want a blessing instead” unless it’s a young child who can’t stay in the pew alone. I’ve never seen an adult do that at this parish (or anywhere for that matter, but I’ve read here people say they do that).

I know I sound like I’m dimwitted, but I’m really not. I’m just trying to do the right thing and not cause any problems or uncomfortable situations.


No there is no special line. You would remain seated. Only those receiving anointing would go up. A lot if times it is after mass, so you need not stay.


Since you are in RCIA, I would set up an appt with your pastor and speak with him about it privately. He could choose to administer the Sacrament of Confession for you a little early so you could have it before surgery, and then maybe a special prayer and blessing as well.

If you illness/surgery is truly VERY serious, with a good chance of mortality, then he may even consider speaking with the bishop about having the Sacrament of Confirmation and Sacrament of the Eucharist moved up earlier as well, and then give the Sacrament of Annointing.


Yes, when this came up in our RCIA class, they said as dedicated, known catechumens, we could individually discuss anointing. I had been in for surgery just before my class started and registered my religion as RC, since I have been attending the Catholic Church only for more than six years at this point, I don’t feel Protestant any more. They priest who visited the hospital didnt know me, and didnt anoint. He said a blessing and a prayer with us instead.


Just a clarification.

A priest cannot actually anoint a candidate because the Sacraments are only for Catholics.

A priest can first receive a candidate into the Church (on an emergency basis) then proceed with the anointing.

It’s an important point.


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