Sacraments of Healing
Anointing of the Sick
At one time, what we practice now as the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick was offered only when a person was near death. This is why it was called, “Extreme Unction” (anointing in extreme circumstances) and commonly referred to as “last rites.”
Today, any seriously ill or infirmed person can be anointed at any time; death need not be imminent. Persons scheduled for surgery likewise should be anointed before entering the hospital.