Anointing of the Sick Sacrament Essay

Anointing of the Sick Sacrament Essay.

The Catholic Church sees the effects of the sacrament as follows: As the sacrament of Marriage gives grace for the married state, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick gives grace for the state into which people enter through sickness.

Through the sacrament a gift of the Holy Spirit is given, that renews confidence and faith in God and strengthens against temptations to discouragement, despair and anguish at the thought of death and the struggle of death; it prevents the believer from losing Christian hope in God’s justice, truth and salvation.

Because one of the effects of the sacrament is to absolve the recipient of any sins not previously absolved through the sacrament of penance, only an ordained priest or bishop may administer the sacrament.

“The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life.


An extensive account of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on Anointing of the Sick is given in Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, 1499–1532. [edit]Biblical References The chief Biblical text concerning anointing of the sick is James 5:14–15: “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the Church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And if they have committed sins, these will be forgiven. Matthew 10:8, Luke 10:8–9 and Mark 6:13 are also quoted in this regard. [edit]

Names for the sacrament In the past, the official name of the sacrament in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church was Extreme Unction (meaning, Final Anointing), a name attached to it when it was administered, as one of the “Last Rites”, only to people in immediate danger of death. Peter Lombard (died 1160) is the first writer known to have used the term,[10] which did not become the usual name in the West till towards the end of the twelfth century, and never became current in the East. 11] The word “extreme” (final) indicated either that it was the last of the sacramental unctions (after the anointings at Baptism, Confirmation and, if received, Holy Orders) or because at that time it was normally administered only when a patient was in extremis. [10]

In the early 1970s the official name was changed to Anointing of the Sick to reflect the restored ancient Christian discipline whereby the sacrament is to be conferred on those who are “dangerously ill”. 12] “Extreme Unction” continues in popular use among those who prefer to keep the terminology that was customary before the Second Vatican Council (see Traditionalist Catholic). The sacrament has also been known by various other names in the Latin Rite throughout the years, including: “the holy oil or unction of the sick; the unction or blessing of consecrated oil; the unction of God; the office of the unction. In the Eastern Church it is technically known as euchelaion (i. e. prayer-oil); but other names such as elaion hagion (holy [oil]), or hegismenon (consecrated), elaion or “olia” [oil], elaiou Chrisis, chrisma, etc. are still common.

Administration In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law, Canon 1004 indicates succinctly who may receive the sacrament: “The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger by reason of illness or old age. ” When new illness develops or first illness relapses or worsens, the patient may receive the sacrament a further time. Anointing of the Sick may also be given numerous times in the case of old age or chronic illness based on the “pastoral judgment of the priest”. 13] The sacrament of anointing can be administered to an individual whether at home, in a hospital or institution, or in church. Several sick persons may be anointed within the rite, especially if the celebration takes place in a church or hospital.

The celebration may also take place during a Catholic Mass. [edit]Relationship with the “Last Rites” Anointing of the Sick is closely associated with, and often administered during the rituals known as the Last Rites. However, the term “Last Rites” is not equivalent to “Anointing of the Sick”, since it refers also to two ther distinct rites: Sacrament of Penance and Eucharist, the last of which is known as “Viaticum” (Latin:”provision for the journey”) when administered to the dying. The normal order of administration of the rites is: first Penance (if the dying person is physically unable to confess, absolution is given conditionally on the existence of contrition), then Anointing, then Viaticum. Of the Last Rites, only a priest or bishop can administer the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.

In the absence of a priest these sacraments cannot be administered, but a lay person may give a dying person Holy Communion, which in this case is “Viaticum, the Last Sacrament of the Christian”. [8][14] [edit]Established form The oil used in the sacrament is usually olive oil, though other vegetable oil may also be used (Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, 1513). It is blessed by the bishop of the diocese at the Chrism Mass he celebrates on Holy Thursday or on a day close to it. In case of necessity, the priest administering the sacrament may bless the oil within the framework of the celebration (Code of Canon Law, canon 999).

In the Roman Catholic Church of the Catholic Church, the priest anoints the sick person’s forehead with oil (usually in the form of a cross), saying: “Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. ” He then anoints the hands, saying, “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. ” He may also, in accordance with local culture and traditions, and the needs of the sick person, anoint other parts of the body, but without repeating the sacramental formula.

This is the form established for the Roman Rite through the papal document Sacram unctionem infirmorum of 1972. The form used in the Roman Rite in the preceding period included anointing of seven parts of the body (though that of the loins was generally omitted in English-speaking countries), while saying (in Latin): “Through this holy anointing, may the Lord pardon you whatever sins/faults you have committed by… ” The sense in question was then mentioned: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, walking, carnal delectation. [15] Numerous other liturgies exist.

Anointing of the Sick Sacrament Essay