The Last Rites of the Catholic Church

  • Last Rites vs. Anointing of the Sick

    Some issues regarding the differences between the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and the Last Rites need to be clarified.

    First and foremostthey are essentially one and the same thing, except in Last Rites the dying person is asked by to re-profess their Baptismal faith in responding "I do" to a series of questions, and the person receives the Apostolic Pardon with a plenary indulgence attached. This has personally brought me great comfort, since I gave the Last Rites to my parents prior to their death. Please DO NOT wait until the person is unconscious and near death. Those dying are strengthened and receive God's merciful forgiveness.

    Secondany sacrament is directed only to those who are alive - the living. Those who have died can longer receive a sacrament.

    Thirdthe person receiving the sacrament is expected, if able, to participate in the reception of the sacrament.

    The Sacrament of the Sick is NOT always the Last Rites. It is a sacrament of healing and for strengthening of the sick individual. I have received this sacrament on several occasions with great results!

    Please keep in mind that when admitted to a health care facility, you or your family must ensure that your religious status is noted to be Catholic and that they may release information to your ChurchFederal government laws and regulations make it extremely difficult to find out if you or your family member is in a health care facility, please make sure you or your family contact the Parish Office as soon as possible.

    If you or your loved one is admitted to palliative care or hospice care immediately call the Parish Office to ensure that a priest is available to administer the Last Rites of the Church. Please keep in mind that near the moment of death a priest may not be immediately available. for many legitimate reasons. There is a priest shortage and a priest may not be available at the exact time you need him.


  • Guidelines for the Anointing of the Sick

    • If you or a member of your family is admitted to a health care facility make sure your religious affiliation status says "Catholic".

    • While being admitted to a health care facility, ensure the person admitting you checks your approval to share information regarding your admission. Otherwise, the facility will deny you were admitted.

    • If you or your family member are admitted to a health care facility please call the Parish Office and let us know.

    • If you are undergoing surgery or any serious medical procedure see Father Jim or a visiting priest on the prior Sunday.

    • Please remember a priest may not be immediately available if an unexpected crisis should develop


  • Guidelines for the Last Rites

    • IMMEDIATELY upon entering hospice or palliative care please call the Parish OfficePLEASE DO NOT WAIT.

    • Schedule a time convenient so that all family members and friends can be be present to participate and support the person receiving the sacrament.

    • The person in hospice or palliative care can receive this sacrament more than once.

    • If you wait until the person in hospice or palliative care goes unconscious, they are denied the humanly-visible participation in the sacrament.

    • Please remember that if you wait until the person is near death, a priest may not be immediately available for your loved one.