Anointing the Sick
Anointing the sick is a religious practice that is held by most Christian churches. The origin of anointing the sick comes from the scripture James 5:14-15. The practice is also mentioned in Matthew 10:8, Luke 10:8-9, and Mark 6:13. The practice has also been referred to as Unction of the Sick, Extreme Unction, Euchelalon, administration of the sick, or simply anointing with oil. Some churches like the Catholic Church believe that anointing the sick is one of the sacraments that followers of Chris must do. Others see anointing the sick as a religious practice that is suggested in the Bible, but not required.
In the Catholic Church and some other denominations, the priest is the person who anoints a sick person with oil. This is done to portray the way Jesus placed his hands on people to heal them from sin, illness, and disease. The church believes that anointing can bring about healing for a person if it is the will of God. It is hoped that this healing is not only a spiritual healing but also a physical healing. During the ceremony, the priest uses oil, usually from olives or other plants. The oil is blessed preferably by a bishop and if that is not possible a priest.
Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Fundamental churches also anoint the sick but do have simple ceremonies. Traditionally, hands are laid on the person who is being anointed. It might be done in conjunction with a worship service but many times it is done in private with family and close friends. Some Pentecostals believe the anointing has the power to heal and waits for miraculous healing. Other denominations do not believe the healing comes from the actual anointing and that the anointing is more about spiritual healing than physical healing.