The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction/Last Rites)
“Now when the sun was setting, all who had sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus. And He laid His Hands upon each of them and cured them.” (Luke 4: 40)
Anointing of the sick is a sacrament that principally gives health and strength to the soul; and may sometimes grant physical healing as well. This sacrament should be received by those who are in danger of death from sickness, injuries, surgeries (requiring general anesthesia), or old age.
As soon as a person is in danger of death, a priest should be contacted so that they can confess their sins. Anointing of the Sick is a “Sacrament of the Living.” Therefore, if the recipient is in a state of mortal sin, they must confess their sins if they are capable of doing so.
Additionally, due to the fact that priests often help out other parishes throughout the diocese, waiting for a loved one to be on their final few breaths before asking a priest to come to their aid is very risky (since this sacrament can only be conferred upon people who are still alive.)
After being anointed and given the Apostolic Pardon (when necessary), the recipient and their loved ones may be at peace since they have the confidence in knowing they are in the best possible condition to journey from this life into eternal life.
If a Catholic who is dying needs to be anointed, please contact Fr. Michael Gentry.