Through this sacrament, the whole church commends those who are ill to the Lord, that he may raise them up and save them; the Lord himself showed great concern for the sick and commanded his followers to do likewise. By this holy anointing, those who suffer are united to the passion and death of Christ; he thus strengthens the faithful who are afflicted by illness, providing them with the strongest means of support.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) explains that "for those who are about to depart from this life, the Church offers the person Penance, Anointing of the Sick, and the Eucharist as Viaticum (food for the journey) given at the end of life."
Any baptized person who is seriously ill or elderly may receive this sacrament.
Administering the Anointing of the Sick
The priest will say the appropriate prayers and there is normally a penitential rite, a Scripture reading, and then the anointing of the person’s forehead and hands.