XIV, cap. On the other hand, in the Russian Church, except in the metropolitan churches of Moscow and Novgorod on Maundy Thursday each year, this practice is reprobated, and priests are expressly forbidden in their faculties to give the euchelaion to people who are not sick (Kern, pp. But may not the "strengthening" spoken of as distinct from "healing" be spiritual rather than corporal? (For the technical meaning of these terms in sacramental theology see SACRAMENTS.) Had St. James meant to speak of the effect of priestly absolution in the third clause he could not have written in such a way as inevitably to mislead the reader into believing that he was still dealing with an effect of the priestly unction. This effect, of course, is actually realized only when the subject is sui compos and capable of co-operating with grace; but the same is true of the principal effect of several other sacraments. 535, 536) reviews Kern's suggestion sympathetically. There is all the less need to be exhaustive as the adversaries of Catholic teaching are compelled to admit that from the eighth century onwards the strictly sacramental conception of the Jacobean rite emerges clearly in the writings and legislation of both the Eastern and the Western Churches. 700--old no. But the great majority of theologians and commentators have denied the sacramentality of this unction on the grounds: (1) that there is mention only of bodily healing as its effect (cf. ), i.e. Sacramentorum, no. The fourth of the canons promulgated (about 745) by St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany (see Hefele, III, 580 sq. It is interesting to observe that Mr. Puller, in discussing this text (op. But when it is urged that he here attributes the remission of sins of which the Apostle, speaks not to the rite of unction but to the Sacrament of Penance, it is worth while inquiring into the reasons alleged for this interpretation of the passage. (1) The remote matter of extreme unction is consecrated oil. It is more to the point in the first place to recall the loss, except for a few fragments, of several early commentaries on St. James's Epistle (by Clement of Alexandria, Didymus, St. Augustine, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and others) in which chiefly we should look for reference to the unction. cit., pp. But in the nature of things there does not seem to be any reason why a composite form of blessing might not suffice to make the same oil valid matter for more than one sacrament. The Council of Trent teaches that "if the sick recover after receiving this unction, they can again receive the aid of this sacrament, when they fall anew into a similar danger of death" (Sess. for the purpose not merely of increasing but of conferring sanctifying grace sacramentally. Victor of Antioch (fifth century) is one of the ancient witnesses who, in the general terms they employ in speaking of the Jacobean unction, anticipate more or less clearly the definition of a sacrament in the strict sense. In the Middle Ages doubts were entertained by some ecclesiastics on this subject, as we learn from the correspondence between Abbot (later Cardinal) Godfried and St. Yves, Bishop of Chartres (d. 1117). cit., pp. The latter are bound to maintain either that the repeated rite is merely a sacramental--though clearly intended to be a sacrament--or that the repeated unctions coalesce to form one sacrament--an explanation which is open to several serious objections. We do not pretend to be able to enter into St. Chrysostom's mind, but assuming that he recognized both penance and unction to be efficacious for the remission of post-baptismal sins--and the text before us plainly states this in regard to the unction--we may perhaps find in the greater affinity of unction with baptism, and in the particular points of contrast he is developing, a reason why unction rather than penance is appealed to. Now the question is, does extreme unction revive, that is does it afterwards (during the same serious illness) produce such effects as are hindered at the time of reception, if the obstacle is afterwards removed or the requisite disposition excited? Matter and Form; V. Minister; VI. He furnishes, in the first place, abundant evidence of the widespread practice in the Western Church from the ninth to the twelfth, and even, in some places, to the thirteenth century, of repeating the unction for seven days, or indefinitely while the sickness lasted; and he is able to claim the authority of Oriental theologians for explaining the modern practice in the Eastern Church of a sevenfold anointing by seven priests as being due to a more ancient practice of repeating the unction for seven days--a practice to which the Coptic Liturgy bears witness. ; cf. At the present time, however, there has been a revival more or less among Anglicans of Catholic teaching and practice. the grace of God through the prayer of the priest, assists are sick for the reason that they eat the Body of the Lord unworthily, it is right that the consecration [of the oil] of which there is question should be associated with the consecration of the Body and Blood of the Lord, which takes place in commemoration of the Passion of Christ, by Whom the author of sin has been eternally vanquished. Of these only the remission of temporal punishment is distinct from the other effects of which the council speaks; and though some theologians have been loath to admit this effect at all, lest they might seem to do away with the raison d'être of purgatory and of prayers and indulgences for the dying and dead, there is really no solid ground for objecting to it, if passing controversial interests are subordinated to Catholic theory. Peter Lombard (died 1160) is the first writer known to have used the term, [3] which did not become the usual name in the West till towards the end of the twelfth century, and never became current in the East. It gives comfort, peace, courage and, if the sick person is unable to make a confession, even forgiveness of sins. Apostolorum, in P.L., LXX, 1380): "a priest is to be called in, who by the prayer of faith [oratione fidei] and the unction of the holy oil which he imparts will save him who is afflicted [by a serious injury or by sickness].". When administered to those near to death, the sacraments of Penance, Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum (Holy Communion administered to someone who is dying) are sometimes called the last rites. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. 187 sq. 15) that "extreme unction is to be brought to the sick person who asks for it", and "that the pastor himself is to visit him often, animating and duly preparing him for future glory" (P.L., LXXX, 445; cf. (1686), in MIGNE, Theol. Syriaca", vol. How often can you … If they have attained sufficient use of reason to be capable of sinning even venially, they may certainly be admitted to this sacrament, even though considered too young according to modern practice to receive their First Communion; and in cases of doubt the unction should be administered conditionally. ), i.e. MLA citation. Hence, if for any reason the subject in mortal sin is excused from the obligation of confessing or of eliciting an act of perfect contrition, extreme unction will remit his sin and confer sanctifying grace, provided he has actual, or at least habitual, attrition, or provided (say on recovering the use of reason) he elicits an act of attrition so that the sacrament may take effect by way of reviviscence (see below, X). EXTREME UNCTION A term used for centuries for the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. 289 sqq.) 289 sqq.) The outlook on eternity is brought vividly before the Christian by the probability of death inseparable from serious sickness, and this sacrament has been instituted for the purpose of conferring the graces specially needed to fortify him in facing this tremendous issue. Sacramental Efficacy of the Rite; IV. And theologians all teach that it certainly does revive in this way; that for its reviviscence, if no sacrilege has been committed in its reception nor any grave sin in the interval, all that is needed is that the impeding defect should be removed, that consciousness, for instance, should be recovered, or habitual attrition excited; but that, when a grave sin has been committed at or since the reception, this sin must be remitted, and sanctifying grace obtained by other means (e.g. But theologians are not agreed as to whether or not a sick person in the state of grace is per se under a grave obligation of seeking this sacrament before death. 15) that "extreme unction is to be brought to the sick person who asks for it", and "that the pastor himself is to visit him often, animating and duly preparing him for future glory" (P.L., LXXX, 445; cf. The use of the present tense in describing the signification of the rite implies the contrary, and independent evidence is clearly against the supposition. As evidence of the use of the unction by the Nestorians we may refer to the nineteenth canon of the synod held at Seleucia in 554 under the presidency of the Patriarch Joseph, and which, speaking of those who have been addicted to various diabolical and superstitious practices, prescribes that any such person on being converted shall have applied to him, "as to one who is corporally sick, the oil of prayer blessed by the priests" (Chabot, Synodicon Orientale, 1902, p. 363). XIV, cap. II, p. 541), addressing the sick person to whom the priests minister, says: "They pray over thee; one blows on thee; another seals thee." St. Athanasius, in his encyclical letter of 341 (P.G., XXV, 234), complaining of the evils to religion caused by the intrusion of the Arian Bishop Gregory, mentions among other abuses that many catechumens were left to die without baptism and that many sick and dying Christians had to choose the hard alternative of being deprived of priestly ministrations--"which they considered a more terrible calamity than the disease itself"--rather than allow "the hands of the Arians to be laid on their heads". The fourth of the canons promulgated (about 745) by St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany (see Hefele, III, 580 sq. as "the consummation not merely of [the Sacrament of] Penance, but of the whole Christian life, which ought to be a perpetual penance", it is impossible to deny that the remission of temporal punishment is one of the effects of this sacrament. He may also, in accordance with local culture and traditions, and the needs of the sick person, anoint other parts of the body, but without repeating the sacramental formula. hist. Unct.) lxxv) has held that a sick priest in case of necessity can validly administer extreme unction to himself; but he has no argument of any weight to offer for this opinion, which is opposed to all sacramental analogy (outside the case of the Eucharist) and to a decision of the Congregation of Propaganda issued 23 March, 1844. This Sacrament, most often the very last Sacrament a person receives before death, is intended to bring spiritual and sometimes physical help to a dying person. After this all opposition to the repetition of the sacrament disappears, and subsequent writers unanimously teach, what has been defined by the Council of Trent, that it may under certain conditions be validly and lawfully repeated. Hence, at least in the case of a bishop, whose power is ordinary and not delegated, no special form would seem to be necessary for validity, provided this purpose is expressed. Mention of the remission of sins as an effect of the Jacobean rite is also fairly frequent. Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick … If they have attained sufficient use of reason to be capable of sinning even venially, they may certainly be admitted to this sacrament, even though considered too young according to modern practice to receive their First Communion; and in cases of doubt the unction should be administered conditionally. 465--old no. It appears from this testimony that the Jacobean unction was administered only to those who were seriously ill, that only a priest could administer it, that consecrated oil was used, that it was distinct from charismatic unction (which the saint himself used to perform, while still a layman, using consecrated oil), and finally that bodily healing did not always follow and was not apparently expected to follow, and that when it did take place it was not regarded as miraculous. ), Origen, while quoting the whole text of St. James, means in reality to refer only to the fulfillment of the concluding words, "and if he be in sins", etc. If it be held on the obscurity of the connection that he absolutely identifies the Jacobean rite with penance, the only logical conclusion would be that he considered the unction to be a necessary part of penance for the sick. ), omits all reference to the Holy Eucharist, though it is by far the most obvious and important of "the other sacraments" of which Innocent is speaking, and diverts his reader's attention to the eulogia, or blessed bread (pain bénit), a sacramental which was in use in many churches at that time and in later ages, but to which there is not the least reason for believing that the pope meant specially to refer. In his work "On the Priesthood" (III, vi, in P.G., XLVIII, 644) St. Chrysostom proves the dignity of the priesthood by showing, among other arguments, that the priests by their spiritual ministry do more for us than our own parents can do. The Carmelite Thomas Waldensis (d. 1430) inferred from the passage of Innocent I [see above, under III (C), (2), (b)] that, in case of necessity when no priest could be got, a layman or woman might validly anoint (Doctrinale Antiq. Remy Lafort, Censor. 99--old no. to prove the existence of the obligation which so many have denied is calculated to weaken one's confidence in the received opinion. No one has ever doubted that the oil meant by St. James is the oil of olives, and in the Western Church pure olive oil without mixture of any other substance seems to have been almost always used. 364 sq.) We may presume that this order of administration had come down from remote antiquity, and this close connection with penance, about which, as privately administered to the sick, the Fathers rarely speak, helps to explain their silence on extreme unction. But in reply to this argument it is enough to remark that this decree is not a dogmatic definition but a disciplinary instruction, and that, if it were a definition, those who appeal to it ought in consistency to hold the unction of the feet and loins to be essential. var m_names=new Array("January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December");var d=new Date();var curr_day=d.getDay();var curr_date=d.getDate();var curr_month=d.getMonth();var curr_year=d.getFullYear();document.write("Retrieved "+m_names[curr_month]+" "+curr_date+", "+curr_year+" from New Advent: "); He described himself "as an extreme case" (1 Tm 1:16). With another girl found dead with a glove on her hand next to a Catholic Church, Frank questions his faith but then a witness might help the detectives find out the killer's identity. (c) The Seventh Century and Later.--One of the most important witnesses for this period is St. Bede (d. 735), who, in his commentary on the Epistle of St. James, tells us (P.L., XCIII, 39) that, as in Apostolic times, so "now the custom of the Church is that the sick should be anointed by the priests with consecrated oil and through the accompanying prayer restored to health". 595). Many Western theologians, following Goar (Euchologion, pp. The teaching of the Council of Trent is directed chiefly against the Reformers of the sixteenth century. 544 sq.) For it is not maintained, in the first place, that recovery will follow in any particular case unless this result is spiritually profitable to the patient--and of this God alone is the judge--and it is admitted, in the second place, that the spiritual effect, from which the physical connaturally results, is itself strictly supernatural (cf. The Scriptural foundation for our doctrine about this Sacrament is taken from the Catholic Epistle of Saint James the Apostle: Is any man sick among you? ii, De Extr. 46, 47). Some post-Tridentine theologians also (Maldonatus, de Sainte-Beuve, Berti, Mariana, and among recent writers, but in a modified form, Schell) have maintained that the unction here mentioned was sacramental. Not a few theologians (among recent ones De Augustinis, "De Re Sacramentariâ, II, 408) understand, by the new danger of death, proximate or imminent danger, so that, once imminent danger has passed and returned, the sacrament may be repeated without waiting for any definite interval to elapse. Unct., introduct.) The coupling of this laying-on of hands with baptism and the use of both as arguments in favor of penance, shows that there is question not of mere charismatic healing by a simple blessing, but of a rite which, like baptism, was in regular use among the Novatians, and which can only have been the unction of St. James. cit., p. 261). The priest anoints the sick person with oil and prays over them. xxiii, Q. unica). The sacrament is administered to give strength and comfort to the ill and to mystically unite their suffering with that of Christ during his Passion and death. The same is to be said of the other Protestant bodies, and down to our day the denial of the Tridentine doctrine on extreme unction has been one of the facts that go to make up the negative unanimity of Protestantism. However ancient may be either form in its substance, it is certain that many other forms substantially different from the present have been in use both in the East and the West (see Martène, "De Antiquis Eccl. What Pope Innocent, following the "Roman custom", explicitly teaches is that the "sacrament" enjoined by St. James was to be administered to the sick faithful who were not doing canonical penance; that priests, and a fortiori bishops, can administer it; but that the oil must be blessed by the bishop. Adaptation or development of the liturgical forms used in the Eastern Catholic churches is overseen by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, part of the Roman Curia. But this seems to be only a subtle way of denying the raison d'être of the controversy; one might argue on the same principle that the forms of baptism, penance, and confirmation are virtually prayer-forms. As is evident from several of the witnesses quoted above (III), not only in the West but in the East the unction was often administered in the early centuries by a single priest; this has been indeed at all times the almost universal practice in the West (for exceptions cf. Owing to the comparative paucity of extant testimonies from the early centuries relating to this sacrament, Catholic theologians habitually recur to the general argument from prescription, which in this case may be stated briefly thus: The uninterrupted use of the Jacobean rite and its recognition as a sacrament in the Eastern and Western Churches, notwithstanding their separation since 869, proves that both must have been in possession of a common tradition on the subject prior to the schism. While still a young monk and before his elevation to the priesthood, he was appointed infirmarian in his monastery (in Bithynia), and while occupying this office he showed a splendid example of charity in his care of the sick, whom he sought out and brought to the monastery. 595). And if temporal punishment be, as it certainly is, one of the reliquioe of sin, and if extreme unction be truly what the Council of Trent describes (Sess. It would be an endless task to notice the many other similarly arbitrary devices of interpretation to which Protestant theologians and commentators have recurred in attempting to justify their denial of the Tridentine teaching so clearly supported by St. James (see examples in Kern, "De Sacramento Extremæ Unctionis", Ratisbon, 1907, pp. Besides the authority of the Scholastic tradition, which was based on ignorance of the facts, the only dogmatic argument for the view we have rejected is to be found in the instruction of Eugene IV to the Armenians [see above, III (A)]. ii, in Levit., in P.G., XII, 419). Fidei, II, clxiii, 3), and quite recently Boudinhon (Revue Cath. In contrast with their disregard of St. James's injunction and their hopeless disagreement as to what the Apostle really meant, we have the practice of the whole Christian world down to the time of the Reformation in maintaining the use of the Jacobean rite, and the agreement of East and West in holding this rite to be a sacrament in the strict sense, an agreement which became explicit and formal as soon as the definition of a sacrament in the strict sense was formulated, but which was already implicitly and informally contained in the common practice and belief of preceding ages. ), St. Cæsarius of Arles (Serm. There is no doubt, therefore, that priests can be delegated to bless the oil validly, though there is no instance on record of such delegation being given to Western priests. (For the technical meaning of these terms in sacramental theology see SACRAMENTS.). as a proof that St. Chrysostom, like Origen, understood St. James as he (Mr. Puller) does. The abuses connected with its administration which prevailed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and which tended to make it accessible only to the rich, gave the Waldenses a pretext for denouncing it as the ultima superbia (cf. It would be an endless task to notice the many other similarly arbitrary devices of interpretation to which Protestant theologians and commentators have recurred in attempting to justify their denial of the Tridentine teaching so clearly supported by St. James (see examples in Kern, "De Sacramento Extremæ Unctionis", Ratisbon, 1907, pp. . Previous to the Reformation there appears to have been no definite heresy relating to this sacrament in particular. i, Q. ii), and others--holding against the more common view that this sacrament had been instituted by the Apostles after the Descent of the Holy Ghost and under His inspiration. iii); and it is held to depend on circumstances whether mere neglect or express refusal of the sacrament would amount to contempt of it. 1494), and that, to the question whether a parish priest could in case of necessity validly use for this sacrament oil blessed by himself, the same Holy Office, reaffirming the previous decree, should have replied in the negative (14 Sept., 1842; ibid., no. 595), and in the teaching of the Council of Trent that "this unction is to be administered to the sick, but especially to those who seem to be at the point of death [in exitu vitæ]" (Sess. Examples: Pneumonia, heart attack, a serious car accident. 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