The myth there is about anointing of the sick is that you can only receive it when you are dying.
The truth is that you can receive this sacrament when you are sick, injured or elderly. It’s administered to bring spiritual and physical strength during illness. The anointing of the sick is usually the last sacrament a person receives before dying. As you probably know all the sacraments were all instituted by Jesus Christ! The Catechism states: “This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord” (CCC 1511; Mark 6:13; Jas. 5:14-15). A lot of times anointing of the sick scares people because most people see it as the sacrament you receive before dying but it is not.
The process of the anointing of the sick is described in the Catechism:”The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament.”(CCC 1531) This last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for the final struggles before entering the Father’s house.(CCC 1523). The anointing of the sick is not for healing, but in some cases there has been healing. The effects of the anointing of the sick are stated in the Catechism: “The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life” (CCC 1532). The Anointing of the Sick is not strictly for dying people , the Catechism says “The anointing of the sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived” (CCC 1514) Okay, so I know I just threw a whole bunch of quotes from the Catechism at you but that’s what the Catechism is for, it tells us what we as Catholics believe. The anointing of the sick is an awesome sacrament, that helps unite us with Christ.
I(Angie) received the anointing of the sick a few years back when I was really sick and had surgery.. Receiving the anointing of the sick scared me at first because I thought that a person had to be near death in order to have the sacrament. I was freaked out,but then I learned that you don’t have to be almost dying to receive the sacrament! My priest had me do confession,and then said a few prayers over me and anointed me with Holy oil. It was a great experience, it made me feel like everything will be okay, and if anything bad was to happen Jesus would always have my back. It was truly comforting during my time of illness,but thankfully I got better.
I(Adelaide) have not personally received it but I have witnessed it. When I was younger my cousin was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was so strong spirited about it. I don’t really remember him much but from what I have heard about him he was a caring and compassionate kid. Well, things did end up getting worse and he did pass away. I really don’t remember much about his anointing of the sick. I am not sure if it was because I was young or the fact I was crying so much. All I remember was the priest anointing him with the holy water because my cousin wasn’t awake for this a confession was not done. Thinking back on it now it warms my heart that I know God with my cousin every step of the way. I don’t know if my cousin was religious or not at the time but I hope that he is able to be in heaven.
Angie and Adelaide