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Extreme Unction is the name of the seventh and last sacrament in the Catholic Church. The Sacrament of Last Rites involves the anointing of the sick who are preparing for death. Priests do not anoint just the sick; they anoint only those who are in danger of death, giving the ill grace which provides courage and strength for the ailing person to overcome the difficulties of their disease or illness, and to face death.
In James 5:13-15 the anointing with oil for the sick is mentioned. In the New American Bible, an explanation is given for the use of oil; it was employed for medicinal purposes in the ancient world. In addition to receiving the final sacrament of the Roman Catholic Church, the ill person also is given the sacrament of the Eucharist if she/he is able to receive it; this act of receiving the Holy Eucharist provides the person with the grace of another sacrament. When both sacraments are administered, Vaticum is the word for this action.
The Sacrament of Extreme Unction prepares the dying for death, offering a certain spiritual and emotional healing. A member of the Catholic Church is given hope of recovery with this sacrament and its anointing with oil, and a dying person is given hope in his/her last hour.
Anointing the sick is a sacrament of the Catholic Church. Among other benefits, it is believed to bestow "grace as strengthening, [and] peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that are associated with disease, illness and dying."
The practice can be traced to the Biblical book of James (5:14-15):
Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters 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.
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