Friday, April 01, 2005

Extreme Unction/ Last Rites/ Annointing of the Sick

When news broke of JPII, CNN reported that he had received last rites also known as the sacrament of the annointing of the sick.

It is roughly true that last rites which used to be called extreme unction is now being called Annointing of the Sick. However, the sacrament of the annointing of the sick may be performed without the other last rite elements of viaticum and confession, something like that.

So, on the other hand, CNN and the others weren't being as accurate as possible, which in this case is quite important. Last rites strongly implies that death is imminent. Annointing of the sick suggests grave illness but not necessarily that death is imminent.

Here's the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Annointing of the Sick


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