Can I receive the Sacrament of the Sick?




Wow. I never realized how stringent guidelines are in the Latin church about who can receive… In the East it is for both physical AND spiritual healing, meaning people receive it before undergoing major trials, illnesses, and typically entire parishes will receive it during Lent for spiritual healing in preparation for Pascha (Easter).

With this in mind, I object strongly to the notion that having an entire parish receive in any way trivializes the sacrament. Everyone is in need of healing, mentally, physically, and spiritually. People should know what they are receiving, yes, but having someone who is suffering internally does not take away from the gift people offered to someone suffering outwardly.

Regardless, for the OP, I would think that with this sacrament, assuming it is approached with the proper reverence, should be erred on the side of receiving. Honestly, even a common cold can become deadly. As with the Eucharist there is always the fear of trivializing something, but I believe even in the Latin church it is seen as a healing sacrament - so it is to assist a person with coping through an illness - meaning you do not have to be at death’s door, no?


[quote="odile53, post:17, topic:291429"]
@ Joan: Please be assured that I was in no way questioning the fact that there may have been some people in that church that week who looked hale and hearty to the casual observer but in fact may have had some serious or life-threatening medical condition. I'm certainly not a doctor! I do, however, doubt that everyone in a packed parish church had a significant health problem, and this is what I was referring to: Everyone processed forward and received an anointing. My small patch of psoriasis on the elbow and my sore feet didn't, to my way of thinking, rise to the standard of being an appropriate candidate for receiving the Sacrament, and my concern is that such group anointings may trivialize what is, after all, a Sacrament, therefore something to be received with sober reflection. I will keep you with your serious health problem in my prayers this week.


Thank you for the clarification - hugs!


[quote="Joannm, post:11, topic:291429"]
It does't say in danger of death. Any health issue can be dangerous as it can escalate into something else or cause major disabilities or affect a person's quality of life without leading to death.


From a doctor's perspective this is accurate. A broken long bone can result in a fat embolism an sudden death. Medical treatment and hospitalization can lead to complications that lead to death or extreme disability. The Scripture quoted for the Sacrament of the Sick does not refer to danger of death but danger. Cannon 104 as quoted here does not seem to limit it to danger of death but rather to remind us that it is acceptable when danger begins. Seems the Cannon is designed to encourage, not discourage.

Yes, I agree that it is not for a common cold in a healthy individual. Every time my wife gets a cold, it progresses to a rather dangerous and prolonged bronchitis. In her case, early Sacrament of the Sick makes sense. I expect one day to lose her from a trivial cold and its consequences.

What about influenza? Most people survive it. But some end up with life threatening complications like myocardopathy. What if they had received the sacrament of the Sick earlier? We should live such that we do not need the Sacrament of the Sick to get into heaven and feel more free to receive it for sickness.

Just because medicine has made such great advances does not mean that we should trivialize illness.

closed #25

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