In the Last Annointing, the priest dips his finger in the oil stock, which often has cotton inside to absorb the oil and keep it from spilling and going bad. He dabs some on his thumb and then anoints the head, saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” Then, if possible, he anoints the palms of the person, saying, “May the Lord Who frees you from your sins, save you and raise you up.” If it’s an emergency, such as a patient in the trauma center, the priest can anoint any part of the body that’s available if the doctors and nurses are working on the head and hands of the injured person.
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick absolves all sins the person is sorry for but did not previously confess in the Sacrament of Penance. If the person can’t make a confession, the anointing compensates by forgiving sins she would’ve confessed were she able to do so. Because of this aspect of absolving sins, deacons can’t anoint, but priests and bishops can.