The outline for baptism and confirmation when in danger of death is as follows, trimmed down from the “Exceptional Circumstances” rite:
CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM
Renunciation of Sin (RCIA 382)
Profession of Faith (383)
[Anointing after Baptism] (385)
CELEBRATION OF CONFIRMATION
Laying on of Hands (390)
Anointing With Chrism (391)
And that’s it. The missing rite numbers offer rubrics, and we’ll look at those, too.
Renunciation/Profession is part of every baptism except in cases of absolute emergency. The minister may use the threefold renunciation or ask for the rejection of “Satan … his works … his empty promises” in one question. The rubric of RCIA 382 allows for “pertinent adaptations,” referring to the renunciation of false worship given in RCIA 72.
RCIA 383 gives two options: the Apostle’s Creed by Q&A and the same text by simple profession. Baptism follows immediately. The optional anointing after baptism is omitted, obviously, if confirmation follows. A deacon may anoint but not confirm. A lay person may baptize, but not anoint.
In either of those two cases viaticum, the sacrament of the Eucharist for the dying, will follow. If there is time for only baptism, then the rite provides alternate concluding options in RCIA 399.
The initial rubric for confirmation:
388. If the minister of baptism is a priest, he should confer confirmation.
If there is not sufficient time because of the condition of the sick person, the “Invitation” (no, 389) may be omitted; it is enough for the priest to anoint with chrism, while saying the words “N, be sealed …”; if possible he first lays hands on the sick person with the prayer “All-powerful God.”
That invitation referenced above is a very brief explanation of the sacrament (about one-third the length of the Easter Vigil invitation in RCIA 233), followed by a brief, silent prayer. The laying on of hands is accompanied by the same prayer (390) used before confirmation in the full rite (234). Anointing with chrism follows immediately (391). And if, for some reason, viaticum is not celebrated, the minister moves directly to the alternate conclusion given in no. 399.
Tomorrow, we’ll finish up this section with a quick look at Viaticum and the concluding rites.