The following is the Form, with the Rubric and Prayer, for the Administration of the Sacrament of Unction, from "The Order for the Visitation of the Sick," in the First Prayer Book of King Edward VI., A.D. 1549.
"If the Sick Person desire to be anointed, then shall the Priest anoint him upon the forehead or breast only, making the Sign of the Cross, saying thus:--
"As with this visible Oil thy body outwardly is anointed, so our Heavenly Father, Almighty God, grant of His infinite Goodness, that thy Soul inwardly may be anointed with the Holy Ghost, Who is the Spirit of all Strength, Comfort, Relief, and Gladness. And vouchsafe for His great Mercy (if it be His blessed Will) to restore unto thee thy bodily health, and strength to serve Him, and send thee release of all thy pains, troubles, and diseases, both in body and mind. And howsoever His Goodness (by His Divine and unsearchable Providence) shall dispose of thee, we His unworthy Ministers and Servants, humbly beseech the Eternal Majesty, to do with thee according to the multitude of His innumerable mercies, and to pardon thee all thy sins and offences committed by thy bodily senses, passions, and carnal affections; Who also vouchsafe mercifully to grant unto thee [107/108] ghostly strength, by His Holy Spirit, to withstand and overcome all temptations and assaults of thine Adversary, that in no wise he prevail against thee; but that thou mayest have perfect victory and triumph against the Devil, Sin, and Death, through Christ our Lord, Who by His Death hath overcome the Prince of Death, and with the Father and the Holy Ghost evermore liveth and reigneth, God, world without end. Amen."
It does not appear to be generally known, that this Sacrament has never been discontinued in the Anglican Communion. I am informed, that in the Scotch Church the tradition of Anointing has been continued in more than a single Diocese, and Oil has been consecrated and used in Unction within the last few years. It is a mistake to suppose, that it is essential that the Oil shall have been consecrated by a Bishop. In the Eastern Church, the matter of the Sacrament is blessed by certain Priests. The validity of such use is admitted by writers in the Latin Communion. The most recently published work on Ritual in English, entitled Notes on the Rubrics of the Roman Ritual, and written with a semi-official authority by the Senior Dean of S. Patrick's College, Maynooth, makes this admission. Mr. O'Kane says:--"In the Greek Church it (the Oil of Unction) is blessed by simple Priests, and there can be no doubt that this benediction suffices." The latest work on the question of Unction with which I am acquainted, is a pamphlet written by the Rev. H. J. Pye, M.A., and published by Messrs. Parker, under the title Ought the Sick to be Anointed? a Theological Essay. To this pamphlet I beg leave to refer the Reader, who may be interested in the subject.