Anointing of the sick, was instituted by Jesus Christ, was carried out by the Apostles and continues to be carried out by bishops and priests to this day. In the past this sacrament has been referred to as “The Last Rites.” The Church has discouraged this term, in part because it often made people afraid to receive it. Many believed that once you received this sacrament, you would soon after die, which is not the intent of the sacrament at all. The sacraments bring life, they bring grace and help us to be in right relation to God.
This sacrament is for those who are in danger of death from sickness or old age, and it can also be given to those who will be undergoing a serious operation (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1513-1515).
1) The uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church;
2) The strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age;
3) The forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance;
4) The restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life. (CCC 1532).