Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Depart, O Christian Soul

Deliver your servant O Sovereign Lord Christ, from all evil, and set him free from every bond; that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations; where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Depart, O Christian soul, out of this world;
In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you;
In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you;
In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
May your rest be this day in peace,
and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God.

- Commendation of the Dying

As has been frequently noted in the last number of weeks, Theology III is learning how to celebrate the rites of the Church. Because the time we have to learn these rites is limited, we spend some time, even before our ordinations as deacons, learning how to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick and the rites that surround the pastoral care of the dying. Friday was my turn as priest, and I was assigned to anoint someone in the hospital. All that occurred was unrehearsed, so I had to think on my feet. The following is a blow by blow account.

My patient, Brian (played by a generous pre-theologian), was in his bed when I entered the room. In a brief conversation with him, I learned that he was dying from Leukemia, and that doctors predicted that he would not live through the week. His family visited him intermittently, but were not with him when I arrived. We began the Anointing of the Sick when the "doctor" entered the room and informed me that his vitals were falling. I hurried along with the sacrament. The Patient became unresponsive as I finished anointing his hands, so I granted the Apostolic Pardon, and then moved to the prayers for the dying.

As I was praying the Litany of the Saints, Brian's "brother" arrived. I informed him that I was praying and that I was asking the intercession of the Saints in Heaven for the sake of his brother. He informed me that he was not Catholic and did not believe such things. I invited him to simply remain with us silently until I had finished the prayer. I prayed the prayer of commendation for the dying: "Depart O Christian Soul, etc . . . As I offered the final blessing, Brian (who had been comatose during all of the preceding prayers) suddenly recuperated enough ask to receive Holy Communion. I was happy to oblige. I finished, offered my condolences and told the brother to contact me if he needed anything.

I know I didn't do it all right. I hadn't practiced most of the prayers (My assignment was to anoint a sick person in a hospital. I had expected it to be a run of the mill sort of event.) Unfortunately, we were out of time to discuss what I had done. I have to wait until Tuesday to find out what I should have done.

1 comment:

Jinglebob said...

I'm sure if it had been me, I would have been satisfied with what you DID do, rather than what you did not do. This will stick in your mind and you will remember it forever and thus make you better at what you do.

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