PCS 233-235: Exceptional Circumstances Outlined

In these next sections, the rite briefly outlines what is to come  in chapter VIII, the last three major topics in the rite itself. First, the Continuous Rite:

233. A “Continuous Rite of Penance, Anointing, and Viaticum” has been set out so that these sacraments may be given together in a single celebration. If the person is unable to receive holy communion, the priest can use this rite, omitting the liturgy of viaticum.

Roman economy and practicality suggests the Church provide for a situation in which time is of the essence. Keep in mind these practical rites will be employed rarely. For study purposes, they do indicate what the Church considers vital in these pastoral care rites.

234. If death seems imminent and there is not enough time to celebrate the three sacraments in the manner given in the continuous rite, the priest should proceed with the “Rite for Emergencies.”

The Church foresees an unbaptized person may be dying, and wishes to be initiated. There is a ritual for this:

235. This chapter also includes “Christian Initiation for the Dying,” which contains the rites for baptism, confirmation, and viaticum. It is to be used when ministering to an uninitiated or partially initiated person.

Note that the priest is not to celebrate penance–remember baptism is the primordial sacrament of reconciliation, providing the new believer with forgiveness of sin. The “partially initiated” would include young people not yet confirmed or who have not yet celebrated First Eucharist. Anointing is not provided for in these emergency rites.

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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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