Anointing of the Sick
Pain & suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus - a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.
- Mother Teresa
Formerly known as "Last Rites" or "Extreme Unction", the Anointing of the Sick is one of the three repeatable Sacraments in the Catholic Church. The proper time for receiving this holy anointing has arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age. Each time a Christian falls seriously ill, they may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and after they have received it, if the illness worsens.
The belief that the Anointing of the Sick should be received only in the moments before death, is a misconception. The Sacrament is often received:
- Before surgery, or a serious medical procedure.
- During a long-term or terminal illness.
- Experiencing health issues related to old age.
The Anointing of the Sick is a prayer of healing, not only for our physical healing, but also for spiritual health, and for the strength, peace, and courage to bear the burden of illness.
As Catholics, we are asked to see our suffering as a way of being united with the suffering of Christ.
The Anointing of the Sick also imparts the forgiveness of sins, and therefore can only be administered by a priest or bishop.