Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Assumption at Assumption Grotto - Video Preview: Anointing and Benediction of the Sick

If you watch this, be sure to do so with the sound on, or headphones plugged in. It's just not the same without the music, especially the beauty of the Benediction which takes place down by the Grotto.

Be sure to rate the video using the common star system . Read this post and then go to this page to rate the video.

I will be making a post soon on details for those looking to come on August 15th. I'm waiting on some info and when I have it, the post will go up. Stay tuned.

One of the Seven Sacraments is the Anointing of the Sick. Your parents and grandparents probably called it, "Last Rites". Today, people are encouraged to have this Sacrament if it is canonically suitable for them to do so. From the Code of Canon Law:



Can. 1004 §1. The anointing of the sick can be administered to a member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age.

§2. This sacrament can be repeated if the sick person, having recovered, again becomes gravely ill or if the condition becomes more grave during the same illness.

Can. 1005 This sacrament is to be administered in a case of doubt whether the sick person has attained the use of reason, is dangerously ill, or is dead.

Can. 1006 This sacrament is to be conferred on the sick who at least implicitly requested it when they were in control of their faculties.

Can. 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who persevere obstinately in manifest grave sin.

Since one must be in the state of grace for the Sacrament to take affect (and to not commit an offense against the sacrament by receiving unworthily), Confessions are offered at 1:30pm, among other times, to assist those who need it before anointing. I will be making another post on the Sacrament of Penance, with links to various Examinations of Conscience and instructions for those who have forgotten how to go. Assumption Grotto is probably the Confession capital of Detroit, with many going on Sundays before the 9:30am and Noon Masses on Sunday, and at it's regular time of 2:30-3:30 on Saturday. Many go frequently just to build virtue if they have no serious sins to confess, as is recommended by our priests. More on this in another post and back to Anointing...

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Anointing

1517 Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration,132 whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord's Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ's Passover the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the "viaticum" for "passing over" to eternal life.

When I first posted this video last year, a few people got the impression that anyone and everyone was being anointed at will. This is not the case at all. Most of those I witnessed being anointed were the very elderly and infirm, and quite a few people visibly very ill with things like cancer. I have actually seen someone seeking it who was not elderly, infirm or visibly sick and the priests will make an attempt to find out if they are truly eligible with regards to their health. In other words, it is not for someone with a cold or sniffle.

Priests will give this Sacrament to those who will undergo general anesthetic or other procedure in which there is risk of death. At Assumption Grotto, parishioners will approach the Sacristy door after Mass to make the request.


Benediction occurs in the Grotto following the anointing. This is where the priest, with the Eucharist in a monstrance blesses those in attendance. If God can become Man in Jesus Christ, Our Lord can become a humble piece of bread in the form of the Eucharist. It is probably the most moving part of the slideshow video, and one that will not have the same impact if watched in silence. Turn on the sound and plug in those earphones.

Many today have never witnessed or been at a Benediction. We have them every Sunday after the Noon Mass at Assumption Grotto - outdoors at the Grotto in the Summer, weather permitting.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!