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Anointing of the Sick within a Mass

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Christ the Redeemer will celebrate the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick within a mass on Saturday, February 1st at 11:00 am. This is the second celebration of the sacrament. The first celebration was earlier in the Fall of 2013 and was well attended.

Once referred to as "Extreme Unction" and considered as the "Last Rites" to be celebrated on one's deathbed, in more recent years the celebration of the sacrament has been retrieved focusing on it as a sacrament of healing (the other sacrament of healing is Reconciliation). Parish Reconciliation services are often celebrated in Advent and Lent at Christ the Redeemer. Celebrating Anointing of the Sick within a Mass is relatively new to Christ the Redeemer.

In both cases, these sacraments were once seen as crisis oriented: imminent death or in the state of mortal sin. Such grave circumstances are hardly seen immediately as celebratory. Both sacraments also had a highly private nature to them which confined the loving power of God to these extremely intense and individual moments isolating them from the community of faith who ought to be able to experience this same God in less than dire circumstances.

By celebrating Reconciliation or Anointing of the Sick communally, our individual weaknesses and shortcomings are drawn together in the Body of Christ, raised to the Father in the Spirit: sins are forgiven and what is broken is made whole. While believers do not necessarily expect miraculous, physical healing of their maladies, one does experience the wholesome power of God who gathers up the community in his love and promise of Eternal life.

A similar ritual action will take place during Lent in the celebration of the Scrutinies with The Elect who are preparing to enter the Church as full members through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism/Confirmation and Communion. But a general look at the parts of the Mass would also show the same movement: God forgives us our sins, we are moved by his Word, we are strengthened and made whole in Communion.

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