PCS 276-277: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

276. Anyone, catechumen or not, who is in danger of death may be baptized with the short rite that follows, as long as such a person is not at the point of death and is able to hear and answer the questions. When no priest or deacon is available, any member of the faithful may baptize.

If the sacred chrism is at hand and there is time, a priest who baptizes should confer confirmation after the baptism; in this case the postbaptismal anointing with chrism is omitted.

Also whenever possible the priest or deacon, as well as a catechist or layperson having permission to distribute communion, should give the eucharist to the person newly baptized (with the special words proper to viaticum). In this case the sacrament may be brought before the celebration of the rite and placed reverently on a table covered with a white cloth.

277. When a person is at the point of death or when time is pressing because death is imminent, the minister, omitting everything else, pours natural water (even if not blessed) on the head of the sick person, while saying the usual sacramental form.

The Church has catechized lay people well; practically everybody knows that a baptized person may baptize in case of emergency and no cleric is present. We should be aware that the short rite can take place only when the dying person can respond to the questions of the rite. And in case of true need, one only needs natural water and the sacramental form.

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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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