“… 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’.” (CCC 1520)
The sickness does not need to be fatal in order to receive Anointing, however it’s usually reserved for serious illnesses and those on the verge of death. Anointing may also be given to a person preparing for surgery, if it is for a serious illness. The elderly can also be anointed even if they are not in immediate danger of death.
The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament that is administered to those who are seriously ill. It is meant to strengthen and comfort the soul of the anointed one, forgive their sins, and provide the possible restoration of bodily health.
Last Rites are also given to person who is close to death, but it includes more than just Anointing. In Last Rites the person receives the Sacraments of Anointing of the Sick, Penance, and Holy Eucharist -“food for the journey”- to prepare and strengthen the soul in its final moments before death.