PCS 197-211: Viaticum Outside Mass

These sections detail how to celebrate viaticum outside Mass. Essentially, the celebration is a Word and Communion service with the appropriate rituals we’ve encountered in previous sections.

The introductory rites are lengthier, though, with a greeting by the minister, the placing of the Blessed Sacrament (PCS 197), an optional sprinling rite (198), a brief “instruction” on viaticum (199), a penitential rite or celebration of the sacrament of penance, including, if needed, a general confession (200) and finally the apostolic pardon Liam pointed out and we briefly discussed in the previous post (201).

A longer reading from PCS 297 or 298 or a brief Scripture passage is proclaimed. The brief suggestions given in PCS 202 are John 6:54-55, John 14:23, John 15:4, and 1 Corinthians 11:26. A brief homily may follow.

You may have noticed this in previous posts on the Liturgy of the Word in PCS, but allow me to point out the prescriptions for Masses with Children are a bit more strict. Where a gospel reading must always be read at such a Mass, there is no such prescription for the celebration of Viaticum outside of Mass, nor for any of the other non-Eucharistic sacramental celebrations in these rites.

The Baptismal Profession of Faith and the Litany, as we read in PCS 190-191 are given in the rite outside of Mass. Adaptation possible, but not omission.

The Liturgy of Viaticum consists of the Lord’s Prayer (PCS 206) followed by Communion as described in PCS 193. Silence (208) followed by a Prayer after Communion (209) concludes this part of the liturgy.

The concluding rites (210-211) include a blessing–appropriate to the minister imparting it–and an optional sign of peace. The placement of the sign of peace at the end of liturgy has been adopted elsewhere in non-Eucharistic celebrations. In my experience, in the liturgy of the hours. I think the sign of peace works well at the end of a Communion service such as this. What do any of you have to say about Viaticum outside Mass? A curious question on my part: among priests out there, how often would you say you celebrate the liturgy outside Mass compared with the full celebration of Mass?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, 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.

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