For many today there is still a fear or stigma about calling the priest for the anointing of the sick. Or for older Catholics we remember, “Extreme Unction”. Since Vatican II, much has changed in the teaching and attitude in regard to this sacrament. It is not necessary or recommended by the Church that we wait until someone is dying to call a priest; in fact if you are preparing for surgery or feel a need for healing spiritually or psychologically, the Church teaches that this sacrament brings spiritual aid and comfort, including the forgiveness of sins to Christians who are seriously ill.
“Anointing of the Sick” can be performed on an individual basis according to the individual person's needs, or it can be offered on a communal basis. Often Catholic parishes will also offer a communal
Anointing of the Sick once or twice a year. In most cases, this is done as part of the Mass. In a
communal anointing, the priest calls for anyone who believes that they would benefit from the reception of the sacrament to come forward, and those that come forward then receive the sacrament.
In the present rite the Anointing of the Sick is performed by the priest. The priest uses the consecrated oil to trace a cross on the person's forehead. While he does this, he says, "Through this Holy Anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit." He then uses the consecrated oil to trace a cross on a person's palms. While he does this, he says, "May He who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. On the weekend of October 29-30, instead of the homily, our priests will anoint all those who wish to come forward to receive this sacrament at all the Masses. Our hope is that many, if not all, will take advantage of this “Sacrament of Healing.”