ANOINTING OF THE SICK:
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 passed 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.
To quote the Catechism;
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 to receive this Sacrament has certainly already arrived. “ (CCC, no. 1514, citing SC, no. 73)
See more of the Catechism at the Vatican website for the full understandings of the Anointing of the Sick. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c2a5.htm
When a person is close to death, the Church fortifies the faithful in their last hours by offering them the prayers. 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, who’s grace and power leads us to the next life. The final prayers are holy celebrations of life and healing.