Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction/ Last Rites)
What is Anointing of the Sick?
This sacrament, through the anointing with blessed oil by the priest, and through his prayer, gives health and strength to the soul and sometimes to the body when we are in danger of death from sickness, accident, or old age. This sacrament is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him bring in the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14)
What are the effects of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?
The effects of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick are:
- an increase of sanctifying grace;
- comfort in sickness and strength against temptation;
- preparation for entrance into heaven by the remission of our venial sins and the cleansing of our souls from the remains of sin;
- health of body when it is good for the soul.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:15)
Who should receive this sacrament?
All Catholics who have reached the use of reason and are in danger of death from sickness, accident, or old age should receive this sacrament.
When is it advisable to call the priest to visit the sick?
It is advisable to call the priest to visit the sick in any serious illness, even though there be no apparent danger of death, as it is the duty of the priest to visit the sick and to administer to them the sacraments they need.