Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness we experience our powerlessness, our limitations and our finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also, however, make us more mature, helping us to discern in our lives what is not essential so we can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.

The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments, the Anointing of the Sick, is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness,

Only priests are Ministers of the Anointing of the Sick. The sacrament is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil-pressed from olives or from other plants – saying, only once:

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 sin save you and raise you up’.

The Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament for those only at the point of death. Hence, as soon as members of the faithful begin to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for them to receive this sacrament has already arrived.

If sick persons who receive this anointing recover their health, they can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.

(Further Guidelines are to be added)

Baptised persons can celebrate marriage as a Sacrament. Marriage thus signifies and makes present to baptized spouses the love of Christ by which he formed the Church as a sspouseThe marital union of man and woman is for the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children.