The human experience of sickness is an occasion to participate in the Mysteries of Salvation and it puts us directly in touch with the Paschal Mystery. With appropriate catechesis, it is possible to celebrate a Mass that includes the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick for the entire community. The structure of the Mass should be taken from the chapter on Anointing of the Sick within Mass from Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum (1982).
In the Diocese of Orlando, there has been confusion among our parishioners regarding the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and ‘Healing’ Mass. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is a Sacrament of healing. A Mass which includes the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should never be referred to as a ‘Healing’ Mass as to detract from the Sacrament of Anointing itself. The use of oils is reserved for a sacramental context.
Care should be given to the catechesis of parishioners, particularly the elderly, who may confuse the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with “last rites.” It is important for our parishioners to understand that Anointing of the Sick should be done prior to imminent death and that emphasis on the Eucharist as viaticum is the Sacrament proper to the dying Christian.