“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of her priests the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, asking that He may lighten their suffering and save them;(106) she exhorts them, moreover, to contribute to the welfare of the whole people of God by associating themselves freely with the passion and death of Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Part 2, Sec 2, Chap 2 Article 5, para.1499)
A particular gift of the Holy Spirit. The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God's will. Furthermore, "if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church Part 2, Sec 2, Chap 2, Article 5, para.1520)
This sacrament is intended for the strengthening and healing of those who are ill, elderly or about to undergo an operation. It is a normal part of Catholic life: not just for the dying, but for anyone who is seriously ill. It may be received when a person is at home or in the hospital. Our parish celebrates a communal anointing of the sick, in the context of Mass, several times a year.