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Ministries of Pastoral Care


“May the angels lead you into Paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.
May choirs of angels welcome you
And lead you to the bosom of Abraham;
And where Lazarus is poor no longer
May you find eternal rest.”
-- Order of Christian Funerals
To make arrangements for a funeral liturgy for a loved one, please contact Corinna LaughlinClick here for a handy Q and A about Funerals at St. James.


Anointing of the Sick

“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15, NAB).
The Anointing of the Sick—formerly known as ‘last rites’—is no longer considered a sacrament only for those at the point of death.  Instead, this healing sacrament is for all those who are facing major surgery, chronic illness, or the weakness that comes with age.  Communal celebrations of the sacrament are celebrated regularly. To schedule the Anointing of the Sick, please call the Parish Office any time.
What we believe about the anointing of the sick:

How was sickness viewed in the Old Testament?
In the Old Testament sickness was experienced as a sign of weakness and at the same time perceived as mysteriously bound up with sin. The prophets intuited that sickness could also have a redemptive value for one’s own sins and those of others. Thus sickness was lived out in the presence of God from whom people implored healing.

What is the significance of Jesus’ compassion for the sick?
The compassion of Jesus toward the sick and his many healings of the infirm were a clear sign that with him had come the Kingdom of God and therefore victory over sin, over suffering, and over death. By his own passion and death he gave new meaning to our suffering which, when united with his own, can become a means of purification and of salvation for us and for others.

What is the attitude of the Church toward the sick?
Having received from the Lord the charge to heal the sick, the Church strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick and accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. Above all, the Church possesses a sacrament specifically intended for the benefit of the sick. This sacrament was instituted by Christ and is attested by Saint James: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call in the presbyters of the Church and let them pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14-15).

Who can receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick?
Any member of the faithful can receive this sacrament as soon as he or she begins to be in danger of death because of sickness or old age. The faithful who receive this sacrament can receive it several times if their illness becomes worse or another serious sickness afflicts them. The celebration of this sacrament should, if possible, be preceded by individual confession on the part of the sick person.

Who administers this sacrament?
This sacrament can be administered only by priests (bishops or presbyters).

How is this sacrament celebrated?
The celebration of this sacrament consists essentially in an anointing with oil which may be blessed by the bishop. The anointing is on the forehead and on the hands of the sick person (in the Roman rite) or also on other parts of the body (in the other rites) accompanied by the prayer of the priest who asks for the special grace of this sacrament.

What are the effects of this sacrament?
This sacrament confers a special grace which unites the sick person more intimately to the Passion of Christ for his good and for the good of all the Church. It gives comfort, peace, courage, and even the forgiveness of sins if the sick person is not able to make a confession. Sometimes, if it is the will of God, this sacrament even brings about the restoration of physical health. In any case this Anointing prepares the sick person for the journey to the Father’s House.

What is Viaticum?
Viaticum is the Holy Eucharist received by those who are about to leave this earthly life and are preparing for the journey to eternal life. Communion in the body and blood of Christ who died and rose from the dead, received at the moment of passing from this world to the Father, is the seed of eternal life and the power of the resurrection.

All questions and answers taken from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


Eucharistic Ministry to the Homebound and the Hospitalized

“God of compassion, fill me with the power of your Word and the love of your Holy Spirit as I visit your suffering sons and daughters. Help me so that I may worthily and gracefully share your sacred presence with those who await your coming to them.”
-- prayer of preparation, Communion of the Sick.
If you or a loved one is unable to attend Mass our trained and commissioned lay Eucharistic Ministers can bridge the gap, so-to-speak, and bring Holy Communion to those who are sick and the homebound.  For more information about participating in or receiving this important ministry please contact Corinna Laughlin, Director of Liturgy, 206-264-2086.

Ministry to Those Grieving a Loss

We have watched the seasons change all of our lives: spring and summer, fall and winter. The seasons of life are longer and perhaps less predictable. But at least they unfold gradually over time. But the season of grief often comes upon us without warning. It’s advent may be the loss of a job, home, financial security, or often the death of a loved one. Here at Saint James Cathedral we provide help for those weathering the storms of life. Whether it be by appointment with the pastoral staff, meeting one-on-one with our Cabrini Ministry trained volunteers, or participating in a group Journey Through Grief, we offer a compassionate hand to help people move through their sorrow toward hope. For more information please contact Anisa Ralls.



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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303