ANOINTING THE SICK
Our Dignity Washington Mass on the first Sunday of every month includes a “Healing Service” where, during Mass, members of the congregation seeking it may receive a special anointing from our priest.
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, or “confession,” is well-rooted in the history of the Catholic Church as a way of expressing sorrow for wrongdoing and a desire to set things right again with God — and with the community. While it is easy to consider that doing wrong, or sinning, is something personal and only between the sinner and God, it is important to consider that each sin affects the greater community at large.
It is for this reason that Dignity Washington holds two Penance services each year (one during Lent and one during Advent). We show outwardly as a community that we are sorry for the sins we have committed against God and against one another and that we wish to truly repent for them and make things right. Then, as a community and by the action of a priest, we are absolved of the sins we have committed if we are truly penitent.
The act of individual confession is also an important part of Catholic life, and for many of us is a powerful healing Sacrament. The Church recognizes the power behind this act and calls Catholics to make an individual confession at least once per year. After each of our Penance services, we offer individual confessions with priests. If you wish to make a confession at other times, the priest who presides at each Mass is normally available before and after the service for this Sacrament. You may approach the priest or a member of the Liturgy team and make known that you wish to receive the Sacrament.
There are many resources available online to help you learn about this Sacrament and what it can mean for you; a couple examples are listed below.
– “How to Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation Today” by Thomas Richstatter, OFM, STD: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0800.asp
– “The Sacrament of Reconciliation” by Sandra DeGidio, OSM: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0386.asp