Anointing of the Sick
By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1499
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick make up the Sacraments of Healing. God’s design is intended that all people be saved by Christ’s self-sacrificial
love. Through the Holy Spirit, we have the Sacraments of Healing to restore us to physical and spiritual health.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is offered to those who are suffering from any illness, and/or old age. Any baptized person who is seriously or chronically ill or in danger of death from a surgery or advanced age, may receive this Sacrament. There are many past ideas about who can receive the Anointing of the Sick. After Vatican II, there were a few changes that cleared up the understandings of the Sacrament for all.
When a person is close to death, the Church fortifies the faithful in their last hours by offering them the Last Rites. Catholics highly value this group of Sacraments which includes Penance, Anointing of the Sick, and Eucharist known as Viaticum (Communion for the dying.). Together, these holy moments form the Sacraments of departure which unifies us all once again with the sufferings of Christ Jesus, whose grace and power leads us to the next life. Last Rites are holy celebrations of life and healing.