Category Archives: Pastoral Care of the Sick

Anointing for Mental Illness

I follow Fr Edward McNamara’s weekly liturgy Q&A feature on Zenit. Even if I disagree with his response (which I do this week) I have to admit the guy is willing to engage some of those who write to him. … Continue reading

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Anointing Palms Down

A retired priest was in line for Anointing of the Sick. He presented his hands palms down for anointing. The parishioners behind him noticed, and figured the clergy must know best, so the whole line presented themselves for anointing backhanded. … Continue reading

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Anointing: Not So Easily Categorized

It is a feature of post-conciliar catechesis to subdivide the seven sacraments into three neat categories: initiation, healing, and vocation. If one looks at the surface, it makes sense to group Baptism-Confirmation-Eucharist as the liminal event that completes one’s initiation … Continue reading

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PCS 299-305: Rite of Penance for the Sick and Dying

The PCS has one appendix. It deals with the Rite of Reconciliation of Individual Penitents. 299. This form for celebrating the sacrament of penance is for use when it is necessary in the following cases: during communion of the sick; … Continue reading

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PCS 297-298: Scriptures for the Pastoral Care Rites

The Pastoral Care rites offer lots of readings. Section 297 offers suggestions for visiting the sick, praying for the sick, and anointing. The nine Old Testament offerings are a pretty weak variety. Four from Job, three from Isaiah, plus Elijah … Continue reading

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PCS 292-296: Viaticum and Concluding Rites

These five sections finish up emergency initiation. They follow closely the viaticum rites discussed earlier at 192-196. PCS 292 introduces and prayer the Lord’s Prayer. 293-294 give the Communion rite. The blessing is given in 295, with options. If any … Continue reading

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PCS 285-291: Liturgy of Christian Initiation

When we get to the examinatino of RCIA, we’ll look at the full adult initiation rites thoroughly. The emergency rites in the PCS date between the provisional first edition of RCIA (the brown book, 1972) and the current rite (1988)–remember the … Continue reading

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PCS 283-284: Liturgy of the Word

PCS 283 suggests two possible gospel readings: Matthew 22:35-40 (the greatest commandment) and John 6:44-47 (belief leads to eternal life). Section 284 gives the text of a litany–eight intercessions that focus on the intentions of the sick person, focused mainly … Continue reading

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PCS 281-282: Brief Instruction and Dialogue

The initiation rites begin with an informal greeting followed by a dialogue with the sick person. First: 281. The minister greets the family and then speaks with the sick person about the request for baptism and, if the sick person … Continue reading

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PCS 278-280: Recovery and Children

Let’s wrap up the introduction to Christian Initiation for the Dying. First, two sections that describe the church’s expectations should a dying person recover after being initiated: 278. One already admitted as a catechumen must make a promise to complete … Continue reading

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PCS 276-277: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

276. Anyone, catechumen or not, who is in danger of death may be baptized with the short rite that follows, as long as such a person is not at the point of death and is able to hear and answer … Continue reading

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PCS 275: Christian Initiation for the Dying

The considerations of initiating a dying person cover the last major portion of the rites of pastoral care of the sick (275-296). We’ll take it in several posts, starting with the first of six sections of the introduction: 275. The … Continue reading

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PCS 264-274: Emergency Rites

Here are the priorities for the emergency rite: PCS 264: The sacrament of penance is celebrated if the dying person wishes. As we read in PCS 241, “in case of necessity, the confession may be generic.” 265: The apostolic pardon … Continue reading

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PCS 263: After Death

Unfortunately, some families and individuals do not call the parish for a priest until after their loved one has died. The rite foresees this unfortunate option: 263. When a priest has been called to attend a person who is already … Continue reading

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PCS 261-262: Sacramental Priorities

Continuing with some sacramental details in the extreme emergency situations, we read: 261. If the dying person wishes, the sacrament of penance is celebrated first. If necessary, the confession may be generic. Because of the emergency situation, viaticum follows immediately. … Continue reading

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