Anointing (or “unction”) is the use of oil as an outward sign of God's active presence for healing, initiation, or ordination. Anointing with oil by smearing or pouring may accompany prayers for healing (unction) and the laying on of hands in the rite for Ministration to the Sick (BCP, p. 453). The signing with the cross of the newly baptized may be done by anointing with the oil of chrism, which signifies that the person is “sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever.” (BCP, p. 308). The oil for anointing may be scented, with different fragrances used in services for healing, initiation, or ordination.
Unction is often done as part of last rites, where a priest will anoint a person who is critically ill or dying with oil.
For more information about the act of Anointing, click here.