Holy Unction/Anointing with Oil

Concerning Holy Unction/Anointing with Oil


Orthodox Christians should understand that the Sacrament of Holy Unction/Anointing with Oil at times of Sickness is not the “last right” for the faithful Christian. It is, rather, “unto the healing of soul and body.”

Pastoral solicitude for the sick is manifested in the celebration of the Mystery (Sacrament) of Holy Anointing which has its scriptural basis in Mark 6:13 and the Universal Epistle of St. James 5:1. As to the celebration of the Holy Mystery, note the following:

  • The oil sanctified for use during the ritual is to be only pure olive oil without any additives.
  • The Holy Mystery is administered on to those who are ill.
  • Where there is a the inability to gather seven priests required by the ritual, the Mystery may be celebrated by
    one priest.
  • The reception of the Mystery is proceeded by Holy Confession and followed by the reception of the Holy Eucharist if the recipient is capable of receiving them.
  • The Holy Mystery can be celebrated in the Church, home, or in the hospital.
  • The Holy Mystery is administered only to Christians of the Orthodox Faith.
  • Those in danger of death, regardless of their spiritual condition, are never to be denied the Holy Mystery provided they have shown some sign of repentance.