OCF 101: Prayers After Death, A Model

In the last OCF post, I wrote of the importance of adhering to the pattern of the prayers between death and the funeral. The rite concedes all of its texts are given as a model. When the pastoral and spiritual needs dictate, the framework remains, but the contents may change. As for the minutes after death, either when the minister has accompanied the family and the deceased, or when the minister has been called afterward:

101. This rite provides a model of prayer that may be used when the minister first meets with the family following death. The rite follows a common pattern of reading, response, prayer, and blessing and may be adapted according to the crcumstances.

The chief adaptation I can think of would be the situation in which the minister is already present, and has prayed with the deceased and the mourners prior to and during the person’s death. I’ve known a few priests who lamented that some people wouldn’t call for clergy until after the person had died. Most pastoral ministers I know would not be concerned with that time with people prior to death. On the other hand, it can be hard to discern when death is near. A one or two day vigil would not necessarily be a good use of a minister’s time. But again, circumstances might call for some ministerial presence.

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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 Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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