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Administering the Last Rites (Dutch School, c.1600).

Last Rites are the final prayers and ministrations given to Christians at the time of death. The last rites go by various names and include different practices in different Christian traditions.

Contents

Roman Catholic Church

A Roman Catholic chaplain administering the Last Rites to an injured crewman aboard USS Franklin (CV-13), after the ship was set afire by a Japanese air attack, 19 March 1945.

The ministration known as the "Last Rites" does not constitute a distinct sacrament in itself. It is not equivalent to the more commonly administered sacrament of "Anointing of the Sick", since the term "Last Rites" (given only to people who are extremely ill and believed to be near death) includes two other distinct sacraments: Penance and the Eucharist, the last of which, when administered to the dying, is known as "Viaticum", a word whose original meaning in Latin was "provision for the journey". The normal order of administration is: first Penance (if the dying person is physically unable to confess, absolution will take place as part of the effect of Anointing), then Anointing, then Viaticum.

Orthodox Church

In the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople, the Last Rites consist of the Sacred Mysteries (sacraments) of Confession and the reception of Holy Communion.

Following this, there are a series of prayers known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul From the Body. This consists of a blessing by the priest, the usual beginning, and after the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 50. Then a Canon to the Theotokos is chanted, entitled, "On behalf of a man whose soul is departing, and who cannot speak". This is an elongated poem speaking in the person of the one who is dying, asking for forgiveness of sin, the mercy of God, and the intercession of the saints. The rite is concluded by three prayers said by the priest, the last one being said "at the departure of the soul."[1]

There is an alternative rite known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul from the Body When a Man has Suffered for a Long Time. The outline of this rite is the same as above, except that Psalm 70 and Psalm 143 precede Psalm 50, and the words of the canon and the prayers are different.[2]

The rubric in the Book of Needs (priest's service book) states, "With respect to the Services said at the parting of the soul, we note that if time does not permit to read the whole Canon, then customarily just one of the prayers, found at the end of the Canon, is read by the Priest at the moment of the parting of the soul from the body."[3]

As soon as the person has died the priest begins The Office After the Departure of the Soul From the Body (also known as The First Pannikhida).[4]

In the Orthodox Church Holy Unction is not considered to be solely a part of a person's preparation for death, but is administered to any Orthodox Christian who is ill, physically or spiritually, to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness of sin.[5] There is an abbreviated form of Holy Unction to be performed for a person in imminent danger of death,[6] but it should not replace the full rite in other cases.

Anglicanism

Article 25 of the Thirty-Nine Articles, speaking of the sacraments, says: "Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."[7]

References

  1. ^ Hapgood, Isabel Florence (1975), Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church (Revised ed.), Englewood NJ: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, pp. 360-366  
  2. ^ A Monk of St. Tikhon's Monastery (1995), Book of Needs (Abridged) (2nd ed.), South Canaan PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, pp. 123-136, ISBN 1-878997-15-7  
  3. ^ Ibid., p. 153.
  4. ^ Ibid., pp. 137-154.
  5. ^ Hapgood, Op. cit., pp. 607-608.
  6. ^ Ibid.
  7. ^ Thirty-Nine Articles

See also

External links

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File:Last Rites ca
Administering the Last Rites (Dutch School, c.1600).

The Last Rites are the very last prayers and ministrations given to many Christians before death. The last rites go by various names and include different practices in different Christian traditions. They may be administered to those awaiting execution, mortally wounded or terminally ill.

Contents

In the Roman Catholic Church

File:Joseph T. O'Callahan gives last rites to an injured crewman aboard USS Franklin (CV-13), 19 March
A Roman Catholic chaplain administering the Last Rites to an injured crewman aboard USS Franklin (CV-13), after the ship was set afire by a Japanese air attack, 19 March 1945.

The ministration known as the "Last Rites" does not constitute a distinct sacrament in itself. It is equivalent to the more commonly administered sacrament of "Anointing of the Sick", which when given to people who are extremely ill and believed to be near death includes two other distinct sacraments: Penance and the Eucharist, the last of which, when administered to the dying, is known as "Viaticum", a word whose original meaning in Latin was "provision for the journey". Under these circumstance the Anointing of the Sick may be considered 'Last Rites'. The normal order of administration is: first Penance (if the dying person is physically unable to confess, absolution will take place as part of the effect of Anointing), then Anointing, then Viaticum.

In the Orthodox Church

File:Prithastie
Russian Orthodox priest administering the last rites to a soldier on the field of battle.

In the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople, the last rites consist of the Sacred Mysteries (sacraments) of Confession and the reception of Holy Communion.

Following these sacraments, when a person dies, there are a series of prayers known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul From the Body. This consists of a blessing by the priest, the usual beginning, and after the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 50. Then a Canon to the Theotokos is chanted, entitled, "On behalf of a man whose soul is departing, and who cannot speak". This is an elongated poem speaking in the person of the one who is dying, asking for forgiveness of sin, the mercy of God, and the intercession of the saints. The rite is concluded by three prayers said by the priest, the last one being said "at the departure of the soul."[1]

There is an alternative rite known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul from the Body When a Man has Suffered for a Long Time. The outline of this rite is the same as above, except that Psalm 70 and Psalm 143 precede Psalm 50, and the words of the canon and the prayers are different.[2]

The rubric in the Book of Needs (priest's service book) states, "With respect to the Services said at the parting of the soul, we note that if time does not permit to read the whole Canon, then customarily just one of the prayers, found at the end of the Canon, is read by the Priest at the moment of the parting of the soul from the body."[3]

As soon as the person has died the priest begins The Office After the Departure of the Soul From the Body (also known as The First Pannikhida).[4]

In the Orthodox Church Holy Unction is not considered to be solely a part of a person's preparation for death, but is administered to any Orthodox Christian who is ill, physically or spiritually, to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness of sin.[5] There is an abbreviated form of Holy Unction to be performed for a person in imminent danger of death,[6] but it should not replace the full rite in other cases.

In Anglican churches

Article 25 of the Thirty-Nine Articles, speaking of the sacraments, says: "Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hapgood, Isabel Florence (1975), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church] (Revised ed.), Englewood NJ: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, pp. 360–366 
  2. ^ A Monk of St. Tikhon's Monastery (1995), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator Book of Needs (Abridged)] (2nd ed.), South Canaan PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, pp. 123–136, ISBN 1-878997-15-7 
  3. ^ Ibid., p. 153.
  4. ^ Ibid., pp. 137-154.
  5. ^ Hapgood, Op. cit., pp. 607-608.
  6. ^ Ibid.
  7. ^ Thirty-Nine Articles

External links


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