Annointing the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick gives strength and support and can be administered to anyone struggling with an illness.
Who may Receive?
In the Catholic Church, Extreme Unction or the Last Rites is the anointing at the time of death. Since the Second Vatican Council, this sacrament is now called the Anointing of the Sick and has been broadened to offer healing and comfort in times of illness that may not lead to immediate death. Speaking about a wider implementation of this sacrament,
Pope Paul VI advocated for “a wider availability of the sacrament and to extend it—within reasonable limits—even beyond cases of mortal illness."
Unlike the traditional understanding of the Last Rites, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is, ideally, to be administered in a communal celebration.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that when the sick are anointed they should be "assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community, which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through their prayers and fraternal attention" (1516).
"Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration…It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist" (1517).
The healing that occurs in this sacrament of anointing is not necessarily physical healing. While we believe that physical healing can occur through the great power of God, the grace that is infused through this special sacrament is the reminder of the eternal presence of God in our human suffering.
When the priest blessing the oil of anointing, he asks God to "send the power of your Holy Spirit, the Consoler, into this precious oil. Make this oil a remedy for all who are anointed with it; heal them in body, in soul and in spirit, and deliver them from every affliction" (Pastoral Care of the Sick, #123).
"The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament" (CCC 1531).
To receive this sacrament, please call the Parish Office and the secretary will take down your information so that a priest may contact you directly. After office hours, the voice mail menu will offer you several options. In the case of an emergency press “3” and leave a brief message including the name of the sick person and your phone number. The priest on duty will be paged. Please give your phone number slowly and clearly.
Please accept our sympathies at the death of your loved one. When someone has died, the first step is to contact a mortuary to prepare the body for the funeral rites. There are mortuaries advertised on the back of our weekly bulletin. Please specify SS. Peter and Paul in Wilmington as the church to hold the funeral Mass and to perform the Graveside Service. If Military Honors at the burial are desired, make this known to the mortuary so that they can arrange it.
Typically, the priest who is scheduled to be on duty the day of the funeral will perform the services and contact you for information about the deceased, informing the family of its options for participating at the funeral Mass and giving the family an overview of the entire proceedings prior to the Mass/Vigil/Rosary of on the day of said event.
If a Vigil Service is desired, it may take the form of a Scripture service, recitation of the Rosary or both. The Vigil Service usually takes place with the body of the deceased present at the mortuary on the evening preceding the Funeral Mass or in the church provided pre-arrangements have been made.
Eulogies and Words of Remembrance
The preferred places for Eulogies by family members and friends is at the Vigil Service or Graveside Service, not at the Funeral Mass. These words of remembrance are most effective when they do not try to be a complete history of the individual and from three to five minutes in length each.
The Church prefers that cremation take place after the Funeral Mass. If this is not possible, the Church allows for the Funeral Mass to be celebrated with the cremated remains of the body present. Cremated remains are to be treated with the same respect given to the human body. This includes the use of a worthy vessel/urn which is to be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum. Scattering the cremated remains, keeping them at home or dividing them up among family members is not allowed.
*You are invited to a perfect way to remember a deceased loved one by enrolling her/him as a Member of the SS. Peter and Paul Purgatorial Society! As a member of this society, your deceased family member or friend will be remembered in a Special Mass that is celebrated each month for a year, that is the 7:00 pm Mass on First Friday. You will also receive a leatherette Mass Folder with a lithographed certificate and a white velum envelope. Donation for the enrolled deceased family member or friend is $75.00 per year. To register or more information please contact the Office here.