Having completed our look at the rituals of Viaticum, we turn to the next liturgical step at the end of the Christian life. In the prayers of the Commendation of the Dying, the believer is sent on his or her way to God. Five sections of an introduction (212-216) preface the prayers for the person dying (217-222)
212. In viaticum the dying person is united with Christ in his (or her) passage out of this world to the Father. Through the prayers for the commendation of the dying contained in this chapter, the Church helps to sustain this union until it is brought to fulfillment after death.
For the rest of the Rites of Pastoral Care of the Sick, we’ll look at the time of death, and emergency rites associated with these situations. If the previous posts seemed dry, these will probably not improve in outlook.
Priests and other pastoral ministers should be aware of these rites, and prepared not only to preside on short notice, but also to prepare believers in their care to be ready to ask for the appropriate rites at the right time.