PCS 99: When To Anoint, With Whom

Section 99 begins with a caution: delaying anointing is a liturgical abuse. The importance of “active participation” (it seems we can’t be rid of the term) is stressed. Then another warning follows about anointing improperly:

The priest should ensure that the abuse of delaying the reception of the sacrament does not occur, and that the celebration takes place while the sick person is capable of active participation, However, the intent of the conciliar reform (Sacrosanctum Concilium 73) that those need­ing the sacrament should seek it at the beginning of a serious illness should not be used to anoint those who are not proper subjects for the sacrament. The sacrament of the anointing of the sick should be cele­brated only when a Christians health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.

A question for the clergy in the reading audience: Do you think anointing is improperly celebrated often? When does the concern of impropriety cross the line into scrupulosity? How much care do clergy take with anointing, especially in the communal forms?

Anointing is intended to be a community celebration “whenever this is possible.”

Because of its very nature as a sign, the sacrament of the anointing of the sick should be celebrated with members of the family and other rep­resentatives of the Christian community whenever. this is possible. Then the sacrament is seen for what it is-a part of the prayer of the Church and an encounter with the Lord. The sign of the sacrament will be further en­hanced by avoiding undue haste in prayer and action.

And we have a final caution in favor of a presider taking his time with the rite.

Any commentary on this?

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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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