In the last post we read about the duties and responsibilities of the laity. What about the clergy?
35 Priests, particularly pastors and the others mentioned in no. 16, should remember that it is their duty to care for the sick by personal visits and other acts of kindness. (See CIC) Especially when they give the sacraments, priests should stir up the hope of those present and strengthen their faith in Christ who suffered and is glorified. By bringing the Church’s love and the consolation of faith, they comfort believers and raise the minds of others to God.
What other “acts of kindness” would you say priests have done or should do? That’s a serious, not a rhetorical question, btw. Also note the ministry to the sick extends to “stirring up” two virtues: hope and faith.
36 It is important that all the faithful, and above all the sick, be aided by suitable catechesis in preparing for and participating in the sacraments of anointing and viaticum, especially if the celebration is to be carried out communally. In this way they will understand more fully what has been said about the anointing of the sick and about viaticum, and the celebration of these sacraments will nourish, strengthen, and manifest faith more effectively. For the prayer of faith which accompanies the celebration of the sacrament is nourished by the profession of this faith.
Here’s a question of priests in the reading audience: do you ever preach at a home or hospital anointing?
37 When the priest prepares for the celebration of the sacraments, he should ask about the condition of the sick person. He should take this information into account, for example, in planning the rite, in choosing readings and prayers, and in deciding whether he will celebrate Mass when viaticum is to be given. As far as possible, he should arrange all this with the sick person and the family beforehand, when he explains the meaning of the sacraments.
How many priests attend to choices in reading and prayers? Have you found it matters? Any other comments?