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The expression excludes the possibility of doubt (cf. The priests are to pray over the sick man, anointing him with oil.
Here we have the physical elements necessary to constitute a sacrament in the strict sense: oil as remote matter, like water in baptism; the anointing as proximate matter, like immersion or infusion in baptism; and the accompanying prayer as form.
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. 417.) Each of the priests who are present repeats the whole rite. Going back farther we find extreme unction enumerated among the sacraments in the profession of faith subscribed for the Greeks by Michael Palæologus at the Council of Lyons in 1274 (Denzinger, no. 388), and in the still earlier profession prescribed for converted Waldenses by Innocent III in 1208 (Denzinger, no. Among the older Schoolmen there had been a difference of opinion on this point, some--as Hugh of St. Mark, and some of them took it to be a record of its institution by Christ or at least a proof of His promise or intention to institute it.
It would be an endless task to notice the many other similarly arbitrary devices of interpretation to which Protestant theologians and commentators have recurred in attempting to justify their denial of the Tridentine teaching so clearly supported by St. ii), and others--holding against the more common view that this sacrament had been instituted by the Apostles after the Descent of the Holy Ghost and under His inspiration.That by "the priests of the church" are meant the hierarchical clergy, and not merely elders in the sense of those of mature age, is also abundantly clear.A sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ to give spiritual aid and comfort and perfect spiritual health, including, if need be, the remission of sins, and also, conditionally, to restore bodily health, to Christians who are seriously ill; it consists essentially in the unction by a priest of the body of the sick person, accompanied by a suitable form of words. Some theologians would explain its origin on the ground that this unction was regarded as the last in order of the sacramental or quasi-sacramental unctions, being preceded by those of baptism, confirmation, and Holy orders; but, having regard to the conditions prevailing at the time when the name was introduced (see below, VI), it is much more probable that it was intended originally to mean "the unction of those , came into common use during the same period. Unct.) teaches that "this sacred unction of the sick was instituted by Christ Our Lord as a sacrament of the New Testament, truly and properly so called, being insinuated indeed in Mark  but commended to the faithful and promulgated" by James [Ep., v, 14, 15]; and the corresponding canon (can. Unct.) anathematizes anyone who would say "that extreme unction is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ Our Lord, and promulgated by the blessed Apostle James, but merely a rite received from the fathers, or a human invention". Again, it was one of the three sacraments (the others being confirmation and matrimony) which Wycliffites and Hussites were under suspicion of contemning, and about which they were to be specially interrogated at the Council of Constance by order of Martin V (Bull "Inter cunctas", 22 Feb., 1418.--Denzinger, op. But the great majority of theologians and commentators have denied the sacramentality of this unction on the grounds: (1) that there is mention only of bodily healing as its effect (cf.The several points embodied in this descriptive definition will be more fully explained in the following sections into which this article is divided: I. In previous ages the sacrament was known by a variety of names, e.g., the holy oil, or unction, of the sick; the unction or blessing of consecrated oil; the unction of God; the office of the unction; etc. Already at the Council of Florence, in the Instruction of Eugene IV for the Armenians (Bull "Exultate Deo", 22 Nov., 1439), extreme unction is named as the fifth of the Seven Sacraments, and its matter and form, subject, minister, and effects described (Denzinger, "Enchiridion", 10th ed., Freiburg, 1908, no. Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1-2); (2) that many of those anointed had probably not received Christian baptism; (3) that the Apostles had not yet been ordained priests; and (4) that penance, of which extreme unction is the complement, had not yet been instituted as a sacrament. Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.