May 13, 2010

Last Rites

Well, tonight I have had my first experience of Extreme Unction.

After supper I thought I would go to the church and empty the poor boxes and the vigil light donations, so as not to disturb the folks who come to pray the rosary a little later on. Before I went, however, I checked the pastoral emergency voice mail. There was a message from one of the local nursing homes: someone was dying, could a priest please come right away. So I called the front desk at the nursing home, but there was no answer. Off I went.

As I approached the room, I heard something unusual: Latin. As I walked in I saw a younger priest that I had seen before at this or that event, but never met. He has praying out of the older Ritual. I walked in just in time to deliver the response et clamor meus ad te veniat. We finished the prayers together, and then he gave the apostolic pardon to the woman for whom we were there. Her family members were clearly pleased with themselves, having produced not one but two priests for her!

May she rest in peace.


Joe (Defend Us In Battle) said...

As someone whose father has died recently... and couldn't get the older rite performed... but did have several devoted and dedicated priests visit my father, perform AOS, and pray for him... I am eternally grateful for priests that make these "calls."

For the living faithful... albeit vain, we do appreciate it and find comfort and solace from such visits and administration of the Sacraments.

Thank you... and we will pray for all those priests that administer to the needs of the dying.

Brother Charles said...

Joe, thank you for the encouragement. Your father's eternal rest will be in my intentions tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

May her memory be eternal +

May God empower you to perform the mysteries of your priesthood. A friend of mine just lost his mother at 1100 this morning so this is quite timely. Her name is Gloria if you feel so inclined to add her to your intentions.

Brother Charles said...

Amen. I shall.

4narnia said...

beautiful story, Fr. C! glad you were able to make it to praybwith the other priest who was there. i'm sure it meant a lot to the family. was it a parishioner from SH? PEACE! ~tara~

Qualis Rex said...

Father Charles, a very heartfelt "God bless you!" from me too. The extremely sad fact is it is not only hard enough to find a priest to do a proper funeral mass, but next to impossible to get a priest who knows the old rite of extreme unction. I can (and do) only pray I am afforded that luxury when my time comes. Some very VERY close people in my life were regretably not so lucky there. It's amazing to me that certain geographies, specifically here in the US are graced with so many good priests, while others...well, you know.

Paul A. Zalonski said...

Reading these posts I am a perplexed: am I correct in thinking from what has been said that some of you can't get many priests to attend to the sick; and the dying?

Or, is it a complaint that you can't get a priest to do the older rites?

Does it make a lot of difference, if at the time of death, the dying person receives one or the other of the rites? Just curious to know the pastoral implications to what is being said here.

I am scandalized that many priests don't attend to the sick and the dying.

Happy that Friar Charles raised the issue.

Joe (Defend Us In Battle) said...

My comment was more to the fact that the older rite is being USED and I am happy of that.

As someone who works with the law... words and form are important to me.

I was not complaining per se, I was actually praising.

So that is the context within which to view my comment.