From a reader…
Old time follower here (chat room and bird feeders at Sabine Farm). Thought you might find this picture interesting. I’m a cradle Catholic in my 70s and I just unpacked these from old family boxes. I remember these hanging on the walls in my relatives homes when I was little. Of course we don’t have Extreme Unction anymore which really confuses me. Oh well!
Thank you for your work all these years.
Firstly, you are welcome.
What you have found, dear reader, is a commonly known as a “Sick Call” Set. These wall Crosses had inner compartments in which you would have candles and so forth so that you would be ready for when the priest arrived, bringing the Blessed Sacrament. You see the holes into which you would put the candles.
And there were/are more elaborate sets, too.
The idea was that everything should be prepared for the coming of the KING into the house!
You mention that there is no more “Extreme Unction”. On the contrary. This is another name for the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. “Extreme” applies especially to those who are “in extremis”, that is, the last moments of their lives. The sacrament can be administered to those who are not necessarily in danger of immediate death, but there has to be some urgency and possibility of death due to interior causes such as sickness (not external threats such as battle) looming for the sacrament properly to be administered.
So, be assured that the Church does have “Extreme Unction” now, though it is usually called by another name.