As stated in the
Q. When should
we receive Extreme Unction?
A. We should
receive Extreme Unction when we are in danger of death from sickness, or from a
wound or accident.
Q. Should we
wait until we are in extreme danger before we receive Extreme Unction?
A. We should
not wait until we are in extreme danger before we receive Extreme Unction, but
if possible we should receive it whilst we have the use of our senses.
Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick: Baptized Catholics who have reached the
age of reason who are in danger of death (e.g. from accident, injury, disease,
sickness, old age). It is also good to receive this sacrament before surgery (as
applicable) and if one's frailty in old age "becomes more pronounced". Note that
one should not wait until the very brink of death to receive this sacrament.
If there is any doubt as to whether the sick person has reached the age of
reason, or is dangerously ill, or is dead, this sacrament is to be
administered." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note: When given to 'apparently dead'
persons, it is administered conditionally.]
+ + +
"Is anyone among
you sick? He should summon the presbyters (priests) of the church, and they
should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the
prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he
has committed any sins, he will be forgiven." (Jms. 5:14-15)
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