Sacrament of the Sick

Anointing sometimes occurs in a church and is given to the sick or elderly in a community setting. It often takes place in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. For example, a person who is going to have surgery may be anointed. The sacrament may be received more than once, such as when a sick person’s condition worsens.

In the Rites of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the sick person on the forehead, saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” He also anoints the sick person on the hands, saying, “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. Amen.” The “raising” refers to spiritual healing, as well as any physical healing that may take place.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, once referred to as Extreme Unction and ministered only to those in danger of death, is a prayer of healing and may be celebrated individually and communally.