Now we get into the meat of the rites of pastoral care. Visits to the Sick are a basic beginning and the rite gives three sections/paragraphs of explanation/introduction before delving in to the actual readings and prayers. Today and tomorrow we’ll cover the intro, then Tuesday get to the actual rites.
54. The prayers contained in this chapter follow the common as pattern of reading, response, prayer, and blessing. This pattern is provided as an example of what can be done and may be adapted as necessary. The minister may wish to invite those present to prepare for the reading from Scripture, perhaps by a brief introduction or through a moment of silence. The laying on of hands may be added by the priest, if appropriate, after the blessing is given.
This pattern is pretty basic to all liturgical ministry: grounded in Scripture, participation from the community, and a blessing. Anybody leading public prayer anywhere should have this ingrained. Adapting this pattern is always pastoral, guided toward the needs of the people rather than the preference of the priest or lay minister.
In the hospital or home setting, that moment of silence can be essential to gently move those present from the secular atmosphere and personal exchanges to the aura of prayer. Notice the option for laying hands (by a priest only!) after the blessing.