Last Rites are crucial for faithful Catholics because these are the final prayers and blessings the dying will receive before going to heaven. The Anointing Brings Power: It is extremely important to notice in the Gospels that Jesus never did even one miracle until He was anointed by the Holy Ghost. 1003). Anointing of the Sick is for Catholics who are sick or facing life threatening situations (like major surgery or a serious medical emergency), as well as those who may be facing immanent death. The power to heal in the New Testament was given within a missionary context, not for the exaltation of the Twelve or the Seventy-Two, but to confirm their mission. This sacrament was once called extreme unction (meaning final anointing) because it had, over time, come to be reserved for the dying. 1 What is understood today as the sacrament of anointing of the sick is rooted in James 5:13-15: The Second Vatican Council renamed it “anointing of the sick” to describe its appropriate place in the life of the Christian faithful: to offer strength and healing in time of serious illness. [Mt:3:16]. The final steps are the anointing of the sick, recital of Our Father, and communion. Often, when people are sick, they get discouraged, depressed, angry, annoyed, and afraid. The Anointing of the Sick is a biblically-based ceremony performed for the benefit of a person who is ill, frail from age, or about to have major surgery. The anointing of the sick is often a Catholic Christian’s final sacrament. The sacrament is administered to give strength and comfort to the ill and to mystically unite their suffering with that of Christ during his Passion and death. In reality, the Anointing of the Sick is to offer prayers for possible recovery, with the more important intention to give strength to the soul of the sick person. We have been richly gifted by health care ministry in the church from the earliest times. The reason for the restriction to priests is because the "anointing of the sick" and the effects of the sacrament are inherently related to the Priesthood of Christ. Why are Last Rites important? The Code of Canon Law likewise asserts, "Every priest, and only a priest, validly administers the Anointing of the Sick" (No. The ceremony petitions God for the person’s spiritual and physical healing through the Holy Spirit, and is meant to unite the person with the suffering of Christ. Anointing of the sick, formerly extreme unction, in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the ritual anointing of the seriously ill and the frail elderly. The anointing of the sick conveys several graces and imparts gifts of strengthening in the Holy Spirit against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation, and conveys peace and fortitude (CCC 1520). BY: SR. MARLENE WEISENBECK, FSPA, Ph.D., J.C.L. Anointing of the sick instituted by Christ himself during his time. The Church believes that the sacrament offers a special grace to calm the spirit. It is practiced by many Christian churches and denominations.. Anointing of the sick was a customary practice in many civilizations, including among the ancient Greeks and early Jewish communities. It was only after the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost) descended upon Him that he began His ministry. 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