An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Extreme Unction

Use of oil for the anointing of the sick at the time of death. After the seventh century, western Christianity associated the rites of anointing with penitence and death. This differed from the earlier practice of anointing for healing and recovery from illness. Unction became a rite reserved for situations in extremis, near death the various movements of liturgical renewal in the twentieth century have recovered the anointing of the sick in its ancient sense as a rite of healing. Anointing may also be done at the time of death. See Anointing.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.