We continue our survey of the 1983 rite, Pastoral Care of the Sick, covering the Church’s sacramental outreach to those who are seriously ill or dying. Just to give you a heads-up on structure, we have about a dozen more posts to cover anointing, then perhaps a month’s worth to review the PCS section “Pastoral Care of the Dying.” That will include the Viaticum rites, plus prayers and rituals for special situations.
For anointing outside of Mass, one reading is called for. PCS 119 gives three gospel passages, Matthew 11:25-30 or Mark 2:1-12 or Luke 7:18b-23, important teachings of Jesus on healing and trusting God. The rite also refers to Part III of the rite (PCS 297) in which forty-nine other readings and fourteen psalms are provided. A reading may be chosen from that section as an alternate to the three listed.
PCS 120 suggests an optional period of silence after the reading, then an optional “explanation … applying it to the needs of the sick person and those who are looking after him or her.”
Commentary: great flexibility is given the priest. The presumption is that clergy have a wide familiarity with the Bible and are prepared to consider that sometimes the family and caregivers are in need of greater attention during the liturgy.