The sick – in their weakness – need bring simply the mustard seed of their faith to the sacrament. The Anointing is normally preceded by Reconciliation and, therefore, presumes that a person is in right relationship with God.

Anointing can be repeated if a person recovers and then grows sick again or if the condition is getting progressively worse.

Anointing may be celebrated if a person is unconscious, if the priest judges that the person would have requested it.

  • If the person has requested euthanasia or assisted suicide, the priest is duty-bound to implore the sick person with gentle firmness to turn away from this determination in repentance and trust.
  • If the person obstinately persists in this manifest serious sin, the Anointing cannot be celebrated.
  • If the person in manifest serious sin has fallen unconscious, the priest will not presume their repentance and thus their proper disposition for the Sacrament of Anointing unless they gave some sign of repentance before falling unconscious.

For more information on discernment of a particular situation, see Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments, pages 22-28.