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Chiefly RC and Eastern Churches the act of anointing with oil in sacramental ceremonies, in the conferring of holy orders
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The act of anointing a person or a ritual tool is a religio-magical rite. The anointing is done with consecrated oil, or with an herbal ointment or salve. After unction, the person or object is considered sacred. In Christianity the sacrament of "extreme unction" is administered to those near death.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"I wonder, is it not too late to administer unction?" asked the lady, adding the priest's clerical title, as if she had no opinion of her own on the subject.
They wished to administer the sacrament of unction."
Tulkinghorn has stood aloof by the old portmanteau, with his hands behind him, equally removed, to all appearance, from all three kinds of interest exhibited near the bed--from the young surgeon's professional interest in death, noticeable as being quite apart from his remarks on the deceased as an individual; from the old man's unction; and the little crazy woman's awe.
For me, the fun began before the boots were off one's feet; the muffled footfalls, the thin sound of the fountain, even the spent swathed forms upon the couches, and the whole clean, warm, idle atmosphere, were so much unction to my simpler soul.
I sat upon the platform of the large chapel and looked forth on a thousand coloured faces, and the choir of a hundred or more behind me sang a familiar religious melody, and the whole company joined in the chorus with unction. I was the only white man under the roof, and the scene and the songs made an impression on me that I shall never forget.
But though this hurt my mother at the time, the humour of our experiences filled her on reflection, and in her own house she would describe them with unction, sometimes to those who had been in many hotels, often to others who had been in none, and whoever were her listeners she made them laugh, though not always at the same thing.
I'll come home sighing like a furnace, and full of the savour and unction of dear Mr.
The chorus of one of them, which ran as follows, was sung with great energy and unction:
I bless and wed you," said the painter, with comic unction, laying his hands upon the heads of the lovers.
Before you is a marble slab, which covers the Stone of Unction, whereon the Saviour's body was laid to prepare it for burial.
Mr Pancks answered, with an unction which there is no language to convey, 'We rather think so.'
'Not at all caring for, and indeed as it seems to me rather enjoying,' said Fledgeby, with peculiar unction, 'the precious kick-up and row that will come off between Mr Twemlow and the said great party?'