Extreme Unction

The old name for this sacrament was ‘extreme unction’. It was generally administered only at the point of death.

Since the reforms of Vatican11 it is now seen as a sacrament for the sick and is intended for healing.

It offers God’s healing to those with serious physical illness, the elderly and frail, and those in need of inner healing.

The Sacrament may be repeated if the sick person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again,or if,

during the same illness, the person’s condition becomes more serious. A person should be anointed before surgery

when a dangerous illness is the reason for the intervention.

(From the Catechism of the Catholic Church)


The cel­e­bra­tion of the Anointing of the Sick con­sists essen­tially in the anoint­ing of the fore­head and hands of the sick per­son (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anoint­ing being accom­pa­nied by the litur­gi­cal prayer of the cel­e­brant ask­ing for the spe­cial grace of this 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.