Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the SickThe Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ.

The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehand and hands of the person with blessed oil, with the minister saying,

“Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

Origen of Egypt in his Homilies on Leviticus described Anointing for healing the sick and forgiveness of sins in the third century.

St. Thomas Aquinas stated that Extreme Unction, as the Anointing of the Sick was once called, is “a spiritual remedy, since it avails for the remission of sins, and therefore is a sacrament” (James 5:15).

The ecclesial effect of this sacrament is incorporation into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul, and at times healing of the body.

The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness by uniting ourselves to the passion and death of Christ (Colossians 1:24) and the grace even to accept death if that is God’s will.

Jesus healed the blind and the sick, as well as commissioned his Apostles to do so, as in the following sources.

“So they (the Twelve Apostles) went off and preached repentance.
They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”
Gospel of Mark 6:12-13

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