Name of the Sacrament
The name Extreme Unction did not become technical in the West till towards the end of the twelfth century, and has never become current in the East. Some theologians would explain its origin on the ground that this unction was regarded as the last in order of the sacramental or quasi-sacramental unctions, being preceded by those of baptism, confirmation, and Holy orders; but, having regard to the conditions prevailing at the time when the name was introduced, it is much more probable that it was intended originally to mean "the unction of those in extremis", i.e. of the dying, especially as the corresponding name, sacramentum exeuntium , came into common use during the same period.
In previous ages the sacrament was known by a variety of names, e.g., the holy oil, or unction, of the sick; the unction or blessing of consecrated oil; the unction of God; the office of the unction; etc. In the Eastern Church the later technical name is euchelaion (i.e. prayer-oil); but other names have been and still are in use, e.g. elaion hagion (holy), or hegismenon (consecrated), elaion, elaiou Chrisis, chrisma, etc.