Anointing of the sick, known also by other
names, is distinguished from other forms of
religious anointing or "unction" (an older term
with the same meaning) in that it is intended,
as its name indicates, for the benefit of a sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has
its roots in the healing ministry of Jesus.
Anointing of the Sick is one of the
seven Sacraments recognized by the
Catholic Church, and is associated with not
only bodily healing but also forgiveness of
The Sacrament is
celebrated this way:
Greeting and Penitential Rite.
Prayer of faith where the people of God
represented by the priest, the family,
and friends and others pray for those to
Laying on of hands- The priest lays
his hand on the sick person while
invoking the coming of the Holy
Spirit who brings the blessings of
God’s healing grace upon the sick
Anointing with oil- Anointing signifies
the strengthening and healing that
comes from the Spirit.
The Roman Catholic, Eastern
Orthodox and Coptic and Old
Catholic Churches consider this
anointing to be a sacrament.
The special grace of the sacrament of
the Anointing of the Sick has as its
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
the restoration of health, if it is
conducive to the salvation of his
the preparation for passing over
to eternal life."
The duly blessed oil used in the
sacrament is, as laid down in the
Apostolic Constitution Sacram
unctionem infirmorum, pressed from
olives or from other plants.
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.