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378

Part Two

1510

However, the apostolic Church has its own rite for the sick,

attested to by St. James: “Is any among you sick? Let him call for

the elders [

presbyters

] of the Church and let them pray over him,

anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of

faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if

he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

123

Tradition has rec­

ognized in this rite one of the seven sacraments.

124

A sacrament of the sick

1511

The Church believes and confesses that among the seven

sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those

who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick:

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.

125

1512

From ancient times in the liturgical traditions of both East and

West, we have testimonies to the practice of anointings of the sick with

blessed oil. Over the centuries the Anointing of the Sick was conferred

more and more exclusively on those at the point of death. Because of this

it received the name “Extreme Unction.” Notwithstanding this evolution

the liturgy has never failed to beg the Lord that the sick personmay recover

his health if it would be conducive to his salvation.

126

1513

The Apostolic Constitution

Sacram unctionem infir­

morum

,

127

following upon the Second Vatican Council,

128

estab-

lished that henceforth, in the Roman Rite, the following be

observed:

The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who

are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and

hands with duly blessed oil—pressed from olives or from

other plants—saying, only once: “Through this holy anoint-

ing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the

grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from

sin save you and raise you up.”

129

123

Jas

5:14-15.

124 Cf. Council of Constantinople II (553): DS 216; Council of Florence (1439):

1324-1325; Council of Trent (1551) 1695-1696; 1716-1717.

125 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1695; cf.

Mk

6:13;

Jas

5:14-15.

126 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1696.

127 Paul VI, apostolic constitution,

Sacram unctionem infirmorum,

November 30,

1972.

128 Cf.

SC

73.

129 Cf. CIC, can. 847 § 1.

1117