The Sacramental Life: Unction, or Anointing of the Sick
Prayer of anointing
As you are outwardly anointed with this holy oil, so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit. Of his great mercy, may he forgive you your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength. May he deliver you from all evil, preserve you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
"Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body." The Book of Common Prayer, p. 859
This sacrament exists for the purpose of healing -- to restore a person to physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness. When we anoint and pray for people, we ask God to release them from anything that prevents a person from being whole. Christians recognize that there is a difference between being healed and being cured. In the sacrament of Unction, we pray for healing and wholeness, which may or may not include a physical cure.
The rite of anointing includes the reading of Scripture, prayers, anointing with Oil of the Sick, sprinkling with Holy Water, and possibly the rite of Confession. Sometimes Anointing is followed by Holy Communion.
Clergy and members of the church are available to visit you in hospital, in the nursing home, or at home during your serious illness and will pray with you and anoint you using the prayers of the church.
We also pray for all those who are sick or suffering at our weekly celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Please contact us to request that someone be placed on our prayer list.
Read the text of the rite.