2 minutes readThe Sacrament of Extreme Unction

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The Sacrament of Extreme Unction

1 Q. What is Extreme Unction?
A. Extreme Unction is a sacrament instituted for the spiritual as well as for the temporal comfort of the sick in danger of death.

2 Q. What are the effects of Extreme Unction?
A. The sacrament of Extreme Unction produces the following effects: (1) It increases sanctifying grace; (2) It remits venial sins, and also mortal sins which the sick person, if contrite, is unable to confess; (3) It takes away weakness and sloth which remain even After pardon has been obtained; (4) It gives strength to bear illness patiently, to withstand temptation and to die holily; (5) It aids in restoring us to health of body if it is for the good of the soul.

3 Q. When should Extreme Unction be received?
A. Extreme Unction should be received when the illness is dangerous, and after the sick person has received, if possible, the sacraments of Penance and the Blessed Eucharist; it is even well to receive it while he has the use of his senses, and has still some hope of recovery.

4 Q. Why is it well to receive Extreme Unction when the sick person has still the use of his senses, and has still some hope of recovery?
A. It is well to receive Extreme Unction while the sick person retains the use of his senses, and while there remains some hope of his recovery because: (1) He thus receives it with better dispositions, and is hence able to derive greater fruit from it; (2) This sacrament restores health of body (should it be for the good of the soul) by assisting the powers of nature; and hence it should not be deferred until recovery is despaired of.

5 Q. With what dispositions should the sacrament of Extreme Unction be received?
A. The principal dispositions for receiving Extreme Unction are: To be in the state of grace; to have confidence in the power of this sacrament and in the mercy of God and to be resigned to the will of the Lord.

6 Q. What should be the sick person’s feelings on seeing the priest?
A. On seeing the priest, the sick person should feel thankful to God for having sent him; and should gladly receive the comforts of religion, which, if he is able, he should request himself.