256. What is the Sacrament
of the Sick?
Extreme Unction is the
sacrament which, through the anointing with blessed oil by the
priest, and through his prayer, gives health and strength to the
soul and sometimes to the body when we are in danger of death from
sickness, accident, or old age.
Is any one among you sick?
Let him bring in the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray
over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James
Who should receive the Sacrament of the Sick?
All Catholics who have
reached the use of reason and are in danger of death from sickness,
accident, or old age should receive the Sacrament of the Sick.
What are the effects of the Sacrament of the Sick?
The effects of the
Sacrament of the Sick are:
increase of sanctifying grace;
comfort in sickness and strength against temptation;
preparation for entrance into heaven by the remission of our
venial sins and the cleansing of our souls from the remains of
health of body when it is good for the soul.
And the prayer of faith
will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he be
in sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:15)
When does the Sacrament of the Sick take away mortal sin?
Extreme Unction takes away
mortal sin when the sick person is unconscious or otherwise unaware
that he is not properly disposed, but has made an act of imperfect
How should we prepare ourselves to receive the Sacrament of the Sick worthily?
We should prepare
ourselves to receive the Sacrament of the Sick worthily by a good confession,
by acts of faith, hope, charity, and, especially, by resignation to
the will of God.
My son, in thy sickness,
neglect not thyself, but pray to the Lord and he shall heal thee. (Ecclesiastics
Who can administer the Sacrament of the Sick?
Only a priest can
administer the Sacrament of the Sick.
When is it advisable to call the priest to visit the sick?
It is advisable to call
the priest to visit the sick in any serious illness, even though
there be no apparent danger of death, as it is the duty of the
priest to visit the sick and to administer to them the sacraments
In case of sudden or unexpected death, should a priest be called?
In case of sudden or
unexpected death a priest should be called always, because
absolution and the Sacrament of the Sick can be given conditionally for some
time after apparent death.