PCS 134: The Ritual Mass for Anointing

If you’re celebrating anointing at Mass, this section gives you the parameters. First off, when the PCS speaks of the “ritual Mass,” they mean the votive Mass for the sacrament. That Mass would have the character of Easter, as we’ve read earlier in this series, and as thw white vestments would suggest.

134. When the ritual Mass for anointing of the sick is celebrated, the priest wears white vestments. The readings are taken from The Lectionary for Mass or from Part III (PCS), unless the sick person and those involved with the priest in planning the liturgy choose other readings from Scripture.

The pastoral judgment permits readings other than what’s in the Lectionary and in the third part of PCS. This is interesting, something we likely wouldn’t see today in any rite promulgated by Rome.

The ritual Mass for anointing of the sick is not permitted during the Easter triduum, on the solemnities of Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, or on a solemnity which is a holy day of obligation. On these occasi9ons, the texts and readings are taken from the Mass of the day. Although the ritual Mass is also excluded on the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter season, on solemnities, Ash Wednesday, and the weekdays of Holy Week, one of the readings may be taken from the Scripture texts indicated above, and the special form of the final blessing may be used.

The rite seems to recommend the ritual Mass, if you can use it. If you can’t, you can still anoint during Mass.

My sense of this section is that parishes that schedule a “special” communal anointing at Mass should probably strive to do so on an ordinary Sunday or weekday when the full ritual Mass can be used. Many pastors I’ve worked with are reticent about bumping the Sunday Lectionary. Most all will celebrate anointing at Mass, but the ritual pops in like a baptism or a special blessing, only a bit longer. It would seem to be the Church’s preference to use the readings and prayers given in the rite. Is that your experience in your parishes?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Care of the Sick, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PCS 134: The Ritual Mass for Anointing

  1. Joseph Nyarko Asare says:

    Thanks for educating me on Catholic issues

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