The Sacrament Of The Sick And Dying Official Website...
- The Sacrament was earlier only used for people who were near death. Physical death of course is Permanent, which in Spanish or Portuguese is referred to as "Permanencia" meaning the body may be permanently gone but certainly not the spirit, which lives-on! Since the early 1970's the sacrament has been given to seriously ill people, on regular occasions to the very elderly even if they have no particular illness, as well as to the dying. In the Bible's New Testament, James 5: 13-15 gives a biblical account in the early Church of a ceremony very similar to the "sacrament of the sick and dying"
Because the sacrament may now be also given to the sick it's no longer only given to catholic's near death. The holy sacrament of the sick & dying may also be received a number of times during each person's lifetime on Earth. The "Last Rites" have been renamed by the Catholic Church and approved by the-late Pope John Paul 11 (1920-2005 D.O.D. April 2 2005), and are now officially known as the "sacrament of the sick and dying" for ages it was known under its former name which was The Last Rites of the Holy Catholic Church. Learn more about the St Joseph Home Selling Kit
If the Christian person who receives the sacrament of the sick and dying is seriously ill they may have visitors with them and visitors may also be included in the "sacrament of the sick and dying" ceremony. This is of comfort to the person being anointed and to their Christian friends, relatives and medical staff who are present. The priest will adapt the sacrament ceremony to suit the occasion. An anointing for a child will be different than for an elderly person. Visitors will be encouraged to take part in the ceremony to the level they feel comfortable and comforted by.
Only the important and main areas of the sacrament need to be physically performed. If not doing physical interaction prayers with the help of a a Saint Joseph Statue may be made even stronger with more healing impact. Please go to this link to order the St. Joseph Statue which can have great power if you strongly believe.
The sacrament of reconciliation is often given before the anointing and those present may also confess their sins if this is appropriate. The priest giving the "sacrament of the dying and sick" will sprinkle holy water as a reminder of the first saving sacrament of baptism and readings from the bible and prayers are said for the person being anointed, those present and those who care for the dying or sick person. Favorite holy-bible readings, prayers and even hymns will comfort the ill person and make them feel secure.
The priest will quietly lay his hands on the person, hands are used to comfort. Jesus Christ often used his hand-touch to heal the sick. The use of the priest's hands is a sign the Holy Spirit is being called down to support the sick person. The forehead and hands of the person are anointed with an oil given to the priests by the bishop. The use of this oil shows that the sacrament conveys the power and succor of the whole Church. The ceremony may end with Mass or all those present joining in the Lord's prayer.
If the person is in all likelihood dying then they will be given the Eucharist and this is then known as the Viaticum and it is a final meal for the final life journey thru death. If the person has not been confirmed the priest may offer this sacrament too.
The sacrament-of-the-sick-and-dying holds out the possibility of a return to physical health if this is God's wish and it also offers spiritual and certainly emotional healing. A catholic church member receiving the sacrament is given hope of recovery and a dying person is given peace in their last moments. The forgiveness of sins means the person is prepared for death and all those present share in these benefits.
Christian Attitudes Towards Sickness and Healing
Please be a Bible Smarts Christian and refer to Mark 2: 1-12, it's a Biblical account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man who had been lowered through the roof by his friends. At first Jesus forgives the man's sins but this causes uproar and accusations of blasphemy, angered, Jesus tells the man to get up as proof that Jesus has authority from the Father. In the Gospel the physical healing is a sign of an inner spiritual healing. Jesus did not physically heal everyone but he gave inner strength to many. Christians, and in particular Deist Christians are generally speaking more concerned with spiritual health but also look to the easing of physical pain and disease. The sacrament of the sick and dying may bring physical health but this is not the reason for receiving it.
Another example of this attitude can be seen in French family visitors to the Marian shrine of Lourdes France. Lourdes French pilgrims are often sick and there have indeed been claims of physical healing there but most people go there to receive inspiration and spiritual health through prayer, worship and for the physically able, prayer service to others.
Voluntary Euthanasia is when a person chooses to be assisted in ending their own life. The person is obviously unable to end their own life. Interestingly, euthanasia is basically illegal in almost all nations. Illegal euthanasia is widely known to occur and organizations exist to change the law and some people beliefs mean that they will risk punishment to assist others to die.
Equally there are many people who wish to keep the law as it is and are passionately against euthanasia. They know dying will be a frightening time for most people but they see better alternatives to euthanasia, this is what the Catholic Church teaches.
The medical science of pain control is called palliative care. If the proper medical facilities exist then a person can pass away without pain. Some of the drug store prescriptions and medical treatments used in hospice care have the side effect of shortening life, these treatments are still allowed by the Catholic Church. The hospice movement provides all of the medical and emotional facilities needed to ease the final months of a terminal patient. Hospice treatment is extremely expensive and is usually funded by charities and provided by nonprofit charitable organizations because insurance, both private insurance and government benefits often does not meet the full cost of medical care.
Some Arguments for Euthanasia
- A person's life is their own, if they choose to end it, even with the help of another, this should be allowed.
- Some Christians may see it as a response to Jesus' call to "Love thy neighbor" to help Christians "die with dignity"
- Even if palliative care exists, the process of dying means a loss of control, this is unacceptable to some people.
- Globally, most people die without access to expensive medical technology, they should be allowed to die at their own chosen pace.
- Euthanasia saves relatives and friends slowly watching a loved one die sometimes painfully.
- Terminal patients may want to die quickly and free up medical resources for others.
Some Arguments Against Euthanasia
- Life is a gift from God and euthanasia is an abandonment of that gift.
- Palliative care can provide a peaceful death.
- It is unfair to ask any one help to end your life, not only is it illegal and could get them imprisoned, it also can emotionally harm them.
- People may feel pressured into euthanasia, especially if someone else is paying for their medical care.
- People who are dying can get better and may then choose life.
Life After Death
Catholics like all other Christians believe in life after death. This belief does not stop people who are close to the deceased feeling pain and mourning. The knowledge of eternal life and the support of others can ease the pain and help put the dead person's earthly life into perspective.
The Catholic Church teaches the body is separate from the spirit, which is also called a soul. When a person passes away the body starts to decay but the soul lives on and is judged on judgment day.
The Holy Roman Catholic Church teaches after death and judgment the soul can exist in 3-ways.
- Heaven, this is eternally happiness with the soul being with God. This is a permanent communion with love.
- Purgatory, this is a state of preparation for heaven. Few people are directly ready to meet God so they endure a period of waiting.
- Hell, is an eternal separation from God and is only for those who completely reject God's love.
Attitudes and Beliefs About Death
Different people cope with the subject of death differently. Some are shy others are open. In societies with accepted and open attitudes to death, everyone knows what to do. The rituals of permanencia death provide a comforting structure, which allows people to respond sensitively and allows the grieving to feel the support of those around them.
Not everyone believes in life after death and people who do believe have a wide variety of opinions about what it will be like. Metaphors are used to try and capture a transformed existence. The metaphors of a feast or of a serene garden, of starting again, of sleep, being with your family, these all attempt to make now what is now hidden.
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