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Facts on the Practise of Anointing the Sick and Dying

Updated on January 2, 2012

Anointing is a practice when oils, creams and other substances are used on people or objects, usually as part of religious ceremonies.


Anointing is an ancient practice, with different cultures around the world practicing anointing, and it continues to be an important part of the practice of many religions today.


Many have been anointed at some time or another in life, and some people are so blessed on a regular basis, in accordance with the teachings of their faith.

The practice of anointing sometimes known as unction, especially in Christian tradition.Some may be administered as part of a religious ceremony, especially a dedication, and people are also classic blessed in this way in death and other major life events such as marriage.


Statues can also be ceremonially anointed on special holy days, especially in Asia.


There is a wide range of substances that can be used to bless someone in this special way.

Water is a common choice, as are essential oils, dairy products and fats.Some may also be administered in ash, paint and numerous drugs, usually the drug is consecrated before being used.The forehead is a common place for the anointing, the hands and feet, and sometimes elsewhere on the body is seen as sacred places for such sanctification as well.

Most classically is the man anointed by religious officiants such as priests, but people can also dedicate themselves in this manner.

The Christian practice of sprinkling with holy water upon entering a church is a kind of anointment, for example, and some shamans and holy men anoint themselves before embarking upon important ceremonies.

Often consecration is used as a form of purification and setting oneself apart, where the anointed individual evaluated, at least for a short period of time, without sin and evil.

People have often asked to be thus blessed before the battle, the fear of dying in battle, and the anointing is practiced both before and after death in cultures around the world, as part of grieving and to protect the spirits of the dead.

Being anointed can be a very intense experience, as it often happens in a very controlled, dedicated environment.While some are being thus dedicated, the prayers will be spoken or sung, and once anointed you can also join in the prayers.

Because anointing is so closely associated with the initiation and changes in life, can the event be meaningful for the subject and his or her loved ones in many stages of ones journey in this world.


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    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Interesting study. Thank you very much.

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