Relationship with the “last rites”
When administered to those on the point of death, the sacraments of Penance, Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum (Holy Communion administered to someone who is dying) are sometimes mistakenly called the last rites.
What is said during last rites?
What in the judgment of the Roman Catholic Church are properly described as the Last Rites are Viaticum (Holy Communion administered to someone who is dying), and the ritual prayers of Commendation of the Dying, and Prayers for the Dead.
What is the purpose of the last rites?
The last rites are meant to prepare the dying person’s soul for death, by providing absolution for sins by penance, sacramental grace and prayers for the relief of suffering through anointing, and the final administration of the Eucharist, known as “Viaticum”, which is Latin for “with you on the way.”
How is anointing of the sick performed?
The Anointing of the Sick is one of the seven Catholic sacraments. In the essential rite of the sacrament, a priest or bishop lays his hands on the sick person’s head. Then he anoints the sick person on the forehead and palms of the hands with the oil of the sick, a holy oil that has been blessed by a bishop.
Why is anointing of the sick important?
The sacrament gives the person who is sick the strength, courage and peace so they can fight through their sickness and see the healing of God. The sacrament of anointing of the sick is a very important part of the church life because Jesus reaches out his love to those who are very sick, frail and near to death.