Anointing of the sick
The belief that the Anointing of the Sick should be received only in the moments before death, is a misconception. The Sacrament is often received:
• Before surgery, or a serious medical procedure
• During a long-term or terminal illness
• Experiencing health issues related to old age
The Anointing of the Sick is a prayer of healing, not only for our physical healing, but also for spiritual health and for the strength, peace and courage to bear the burden of illness.
As Catholics, we are asked to see our sufferings as a way of being united with the sufferings of Christ. The Anointing of the Sick also imparts the forgiveness of sins, and therefore can only be administered by a priest or bishop.