Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

As to Anointing by conferring the Holy Spirit completes the sacrament of baptism, so extreme unction is the complement and completion of penance. Penance restores the justification lost by sin, extreme unction takes away the infirmity left by sin; it 'removes that state which might be an obstacle to the clothing with glory of the resurrection'; and, as every sacrament makes us men in some respect like Christ, 'so we become by extreme unction like the risen Christ because it will be given to the dying as a sign of the glory to come in which everything mortal will be stripped from the elect' (Albertus Magnus). According to the teaching of great theologians, the holy anointing makes the man who stands at the threshold of eternity and loyally cooperates with the grace of the sacrament ready to enter directly upon the Beatific Vision.

That this sacrament was provided for the sick to strengthen them and prepare them for a happy passage to the hereafter was for centuries an undisputed part of tradition. The ancient prayers accompanying the anointing of the sick are evidence of this. The Church only had to concern herself officially with the doctrinal side of it when particular questions cropped up or errors appeared. For this reason the earliest documents deal more with the question of the minister and the external rites. It was not until the Reformation denied the sacramentality of extreme unction and its institution by Christ that a more exact exposition was demanded of the Council of Trent.

THE CHURCH TEACHES

Extreme Unction is a true sacrament instituted by Christ and proclaimed by St. James. It is administered by anointing with blessed oil accompanied by prayer. Only a priest can validly administer it. It can be received by any baptized person who has reached the age of reason and is on account of sickness or age in danger of death. Its effect is the strengthening of the soul, often of the body as well, and in the necessary conditions remission of sins.


More Prayers






Light a Virtual Prayer Candle

Four things to know about your candle on Catholic Online:

  1. Your candle will serve as a symbol of your sincere and prayerful intentions.
  2. Our prayer community will join you in prayer, multiplying the voices in petition with you.
  3. Your candle can be shared with friends and family, if you wish.
  4. These candles are perfect for loved ones, as memorials, and for those in need who are far away.
Light your own Candle


Prayer of the Day

Grace Before and After Meals

Before: Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen. After: We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, ... continue reading

More Prayer of the Day
February 2017
S M T W T F S
1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728


Daily Prayers by E-Mail

Prayer Requests newsletter icon

Get involved and pray for the intentions of those offering up their prayers! Join together to embrace and remember our brothers and sisters with their prayer intentions. 5 days / week. See Sample


Required


Pick a Prayer Section

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 5:1-8
1 Do not put your confidence in your money or say, 'With this I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3-4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:41-50
41 'If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 23rd, 2017 Image

St. Polycarp
February 23: Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the ... Read More