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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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The Complete Catholic Handbook

The Complete Catholic Handbook

Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction)

  1. What is the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
  2. When is Extreme Unction given?
  3. What are the effects of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
  4. What authority is there in Scripture for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?

  1. What is the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
    The Sacrament of Extreme Unction is the anointing of the sick with holy oil, accompanied with prayer.

    Extreme Unction.
    The last anointing, being given only in danger of death by sickness.

    Outward sign.
    The matter consists of oil of olives blessed by a Bishop; the form consists of the words used by the priest whilst anointing the sick person: ‘By this holy anointing, and of His own most tender mercy, may the Lord forgive thee whatever thou hast committed by thy sight’. The eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, and feet are each anointed, and the form of words repeated, except in cases of urgent necessity, when one form of words is sufficient for all.

    Effects.
    Comforts the soul; cleanses the soul from venial sin; takes away guilt of unknown mortal sins which have not been forgiven in any other way; increases habitual grace; restores health where God sees it to be desirable.

    Institution.
    Used in the time of the Apostles, according to St James (v. 14, 15): ‘Is any one sick among you,’ etc.

    Minister.
    Each priest in his own parish.

    Anointing.
    Pouring or rubbing oil on anything.

  2. When is Extreme Unction given?
    Extreme Unction is given when we are in danger of death by sickness.

  3. What are the effects of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
    The effects of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction are to comfort and strengthen the soul, to remit sin, and even to restore health, when God sees it to be expedient.

    Expedient.
    When it is fit.

  4. What authority is there in Scripture for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
    The authority in Scripture for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction is in the 5th chapter of St. James, where it is said: ‘Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him’. (James v. 14,15)

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