Anointing of the Sick?

I’m not sure if this would fit in “Traditional Catholicism” or “Liturgy & Sacraments”. I was recently watching an episode of The Journey Home and the guests were reverts from a Pentecostal background. At one point one of the guests mentioned how laypeople would ‘lay hands’ on people for physical healing. I know this is a common practice in that tradition. However, next she mentioned how she didn’t realize it but we could do that as Catholics as well. It didn’t sound right to me.

I’m sure we can do that. as lay Catholics. However, it sounds suspiciously like the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, which I believe requires a priest? Now, I realize that we can as laypeople do that, and I do realize that God is bigger than the Church and her rules. Having said that, I also realize that He prefers the ordinary way we receive that sacrament through the Church. I guess my real question is, what exactly is Church teaching on that particular sacrament? Is laying hands on someone for healing that sacrament? If so, if laypeople attempt it, is it valid? Also, I realize that what Pentecostals (and other Protestant groups) refer to as “The Gifts of the Spirit” are actually what Mother Church refers to as “The Charisms”? What is the Church’s teaching on these? Thank you in advance for all your answers. :confused:

No, its not. Only a priest can validly administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick. If a lay person lays and hands and prays, it is a prayer, no more no less. Anyone can pray.

We can certainly “lay hands” on someone and pray for their healing. Healing is a charism given to some people. Such actions as praying over someone is perfectly fine, but not a sacrament.

Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church that a priest can perform.

The Anointing of the Sick, as the name implies, is the anointing of the sick person With the Oil of the Infirm, which only a priest or bishop can do. The OI is specially blessed by the Bishop, along with the Oil of the Catechumens and the Sacred Chrism, at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week, conventionally on Holy Thursday but some dioceses use another day, each year. There is a laying on of hands by the priest while praying for the sick one, but this is ancillary to the anointing, which is the essence of the sacrament.

Some charismatic groups blessed the sick with holy oil, which is similar to holy water. However this was discouraged, forbidden I think, because it was becoming confused with the Anointing of the Sick. I have heard of no problems with praying while laying on hands.

Why not? Are we not to pray for each other either? If we are not allowed to use the gifts that God gave us than what has become of His Church?

It sounds to me like you’re implying wrong-doing here. Of course laying hands is not at all the sacrament, but I have been in situations where it was included or added on after the anointing validly performed by a priest.

Laying of hands is a powerful way to connect with the one in need of prayer. It also is a wonderful way to bond a community. Charism aside, if a sick person feels the physical hands of all the members of their community touching them, how much more fully do you think they comprehend the prayers that are being offered for them? It is like one big giant God hug.

Yes, if it is replacing the anointing of the sick or treated as a sacrament, then the priest needs to get involved to help redirect and guide; but I have never seen that to be the case.

It’s definitely not for everyone, but it still is very validly Catholic. It came from Catholics. Just because (some not all) “evangelicals” have corrupted its implementation does not take away from the core usefulness of laying of hands to some.

As I’m always telling my mother: you worry too much.

Inspirit wrote: It sounds to me like you’re implying wrong-doing here.

My response: No, I was inquiring as to whether there is wrong doing? Since I am new to the Catholic faith I was curious about the teaching of the Church on this issue. I suspected it might be wrong-doing because it *sounded *like the sacrament of anointing of the sick.

Inspiron wrote: If we are not allowed to use the gifts that God gave us than what has become of His Church?

My response: I couldn’t agree more. I sometimes can find myself almost becoming bitter because the Holy Spirit has blessed me with songwriting, and playing guitar and singing. When I was Protestant I had all kinds of opportunities to use this gift to encourage and inspire the body. I felt very useful. However, since coming ‘home’ to Rome I have found very little opportunity to use it. :frowning: I realize that mass has to happen a certain way. People can’t just share a special song during mass, like in Protestant services. But it seems there could be other opportunities at other times.

Having said that, since coming home I have learned the truth, which is so much more of a reason than my feelings. I could never leave Mother Church. I consider the lack of opportunity to use the music gift a sacrifice in lieu of being in full communion with Christ’s Church.

Inspiron wrote: As I’m always telling my mother: you worry too much.

My response: You’re probably right about that…LOL. I used to play ‘Catholic police’ :onpatrol:more when I first came in, and listened to Catholic Answers all the time. I still listen to it, but have come to realize that people (priests included) are only human and if there are things that occur that appear to be liturgical abuses it’s more than likely my erroneous understanding. Although I do realize the need for the rules, I think sometimes we can be a little too nit-picky. I sometimes have to remind myself that Jesus was very gracious, even in His dealings with those who opposed Him.

Oh Wow. I wish you were in MY church. I’m the “music director” there and love to pray in song. Have you brought these gifts to your director? Check with your priest, of course, first, but there ARE places in the mass where “meditation” music may be added: prelude, postlude and some priests allow an extra communion hymn while people are praying.

You CAN do music worship services also. Please don’t be afraid to ask. An extra half-hour of music worship before mass once a month is awesome. Truly. Put the idea before your Liturgy Committee or Parish council… Have a “worship service” at someone’s home every once and a while. You’re bitter for a good reason. Don’t hide your light. Be brave and show those guys some of that glory.

Ahhh! Please, discuss this with your priest or try another church. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years at dozens of Catholic Churches, believe me: the “rules” are not set in stone. You just have to be careful that you are adding to, not detracting from the mass. You know, glorifying God, not you (me, or us). The priest, and the Liturgy Committee have been good directors this way.

Well said. I’m right there with you. lol

Shine that light of yours sister! SHINE SHINE SHINE!

Can I get an AMEN?

InspironCarol wrote: Shine that light of yours sister! SHINE SHINE SHINE!

My Response: Actually, I appreciate the sentiment, though I am more of a ‘brother’. I know sometimes these names can be confusing, especially when they are gender neutral. I chose St. Genesius as my baptism name when I was conditionally baptized.

On another note, I am somewhat limited anymore concerning the gift of music. I don’t read or write sheet music. I just play guitar by ear (I get some good calluses going on my earlobes…LOL). My father taught me. He got second in the state of Oregon playing fiddle. Anyway, I have ‘composed’ many gospel songs over the years, mostly mellow folky ballads, and most, though generically Christian, were written prior to my Catholic conversion. Although inspirational (even to me), they are not necessarily conducive to corporate worship. We have a choir in our parish, and the songs they are allowed are pretty much designed for corporate worship during mass. I would have to let you hear some of my songs. I could email you them, along with the album artwork if you message me privately.

Another thing that limits me is that I cannot sing like I used to because I have a chronic cough from complications due to subsequent recovery of Leukemia that has affected my lungs. I only have 1-1/2 lungs, although I sang just fine even after the half was removed a few years ago. I don’t understand why God would bless me with this gift only to take it away, but then I guess I don’t have to understand it. :confused:

Oh lol, my bad. Sorry.

From the liturgical book “Pastoral Care of the Sick”:

“44. … The words “priest”, “deacon,” and “minister” are used advisedly. Only in those rites which must be celebrated by a priest is the word “priest” used in the rubrics (that is, the sacrament of penance, the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, the celebration of viaticum within Mass). Whenever it is clear that, in the absence of a priest, a deacon may preside at a particular rite, the words “priest or deacon” are used in the rubrics. Whenever another minister is permitted to celebrate a rite in the absence of a priest or deacon, the word “minister” is used in the rubrics, even though in many cases the rite will be celebrated by a priest or deacon.”

Parts of this book where the word “minister” is used are:
Chapter II Visits to a Sick Child
Chapter III Communion of the Sick
Chapter V Celebration of Viaticum (in section “Viaticum Outside Mass”.)
Chapter VI Commendation of the Dying
Chapter VII Prayers for the Dead
Chapter VIII Rites for Exception Circumstances (in section “Christian Initiation for the Dying”).

Reference: The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0.

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