Sacraments of Healing

Sacraments of Healing

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Sacrament of Healing: ReconciliationReconciliation is the sacramental means by which one’s sins are forgiven. One is restored to the full communion with the Church and the order of grace. The sacrament is intended to be an experience of healing and not one of shame, humiliation or punishment. It is also known as Penance or Confession.

Due to its sensitive and absolutely confidential nature, the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation is strictly limited to bishops and priests. These ministers are always mindful that they are forgiving sins on God’s behalf and not their own. The penitent’s confession is protected by the Seal of Confession. The minister is forbidden by Church Law to reveal anything that passes between the penitent and themselves.

The celebration of the sacrament has a number of parts. First the penitent gives an initial acknowledgement that they have sinned and are in need of forgiveness/reconciliation. Next the full and honest verbal confession of their known/remembered sins takes place. This is followed by counseling and the assignment of a suitable penance by the minister. The penitent makes a traditional or personal Act of Contrition and accepts his or her penance, Finally, the recitation of the Prayer of Absolution and a final blessing is given by the minister.

Reconciliation may be celebrated at any time and/or place that is convenient for both the penitent and minister. Ministers may set and promote appointed times to celebrate the sacrament but should remain open to any time a penitent may approach them in need. Care must always be taken to ensure privacy so that no one might overhear the penitent’s confession.


The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

Sacrament of the Anointing of the SickThe Anointing of the Sick is the Church’s traditional and primary celebration of sacramental healing for physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual or other infirmities.

The anointing may be administered by either a bishop, priest or deacon using the consecrated Oil of the Sick and the prescribed words.

The celebration of the sacrament is comprised of the following parts. First is a greeting and introduction by the minister. An appropriate scripture reading is shared. This is followed by a moment of quiet prayer before the minister’s laying of hands on the person’s head and invocation of the Holy Spirit. Next the minister uses the Oil of the Sick to anoint the person’s forehead and the palms of both hands while saying “Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who frees you from your sins, save you and raise you up.”  The minister concludes the sacrament with a closing prayer and a final blessing.

Anyone who considers themselves in need of the grace from the sacrament may request it at any time. The sacrament may be administered either privately, which is typical if one is in a hospital or other health care setting. It may also be administered to a number of people during Mass or another appropriate communal gathering. One does not have to be on their deathbed to receive the sacrament.

Do you have questions about either of the Sacraments of Healing? Please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to contact our pastor. Thank you.

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