Anointing of the Sick is one of the two sacraments of healing. The grace given in the sacrament is for strength and healing - always spiritual healing and sometimes physical healing!
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
Who should receive Anointing of the Sick and when?
Any baptized Catholic can receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for reasons of serious illness. Examples of appropriate times to receive Anointing of the Sick: a new diagnosis of a serious illness, a relapse in a serious illness, an elderly person whose frailty becomes more pronounced, before a serious operation, etc.
The Anointing of the Sick is not just a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death...
If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
- CCC 1514-1515
What are Last Rites?
Last Rites is the term for the combination of three sacraments given to those who are dying: Anointing of the Sick, Confession (where possible), and Communion (Viaticum). Viaticum means literally, 'food for the journey,' and is the term for Communion given to the dying.
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