PCS 66-70: Ritual for the Visit to a Sick Child

I won’t relay the entire wording of these sections, but just cover a few highlights. The pattern is the same as it was for a non-sacramental visit: reading, response, Lord’s Prayer, concluding prayer, blessing. How to adapt for kids? Shorter readings, and passages with connections to a child’s mind. here are some suggestions in PCS 66:

Mark 5:21-23, 35-43, Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus and gives her back to her parents; Mark 9:14-27, Jesus cures a boy and gives him back to his father; Luke 7:11-15, Jesus raises a young man, the only son of his mother, and gives him back to her; John 4:46-53, Jesus gives his second sign by healing an official’s son. In addition, other stories concerning the Lord’s healing ministry may be found suitable, especially if told with the simplicity and clarity of one of the children’s versions of Scripture.

I wouldn’t dismiss too easily the child’s capability for silence, but it should be a concern to check ahead of time:

 

67. After the reading of the word of God, time may be set apart for silent reflection if the child is capable of this form of prayer. The minister should also explain the meaning of the reading to those present, adapting it to their circumstances.

 

The minister may then help the child and the family to respond to the word of God. The following short responsory may be used:

Jesus, come to me. -Jesus, come to me.

Jesus, put your hand on me. -Jesus, put your hand on me.

Jesus, bless me. -Jesus, bless me.

 Two samples of the prayers the rite provides, first in PCS 69, a concluding prayer:

God of love,

ever caring,

ever strong,

stand by us in our time of need.

Watch over your child N. who is sick, look after him/her in every danger,

and grant him/her your healing and peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

 

Amen.

 And for the final blessing:

N., when you were baptized,

you were marked with the cross of Jesus.

I (we) make this cross + on your forehead and ask the Lord to bless you,

and restore you to health.

 

Amen

 

This sort of detail was simply not available in the Tridentine Rite, and I thinkn rightly, the framers of the PCS did well to provide a pattern for use with sick children, one that can and should be adapted to various ages as well as different family situations. Comments?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Care of the Sick, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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