Rite for Emergencies

Note: An (L) indicates that a text is also provided in Latin, after the English.


Sacrament Of Penance (L)
[Apostolic Pardon (L)]

The Lord’s Prayer
Communion as Viaticum

[Prayer before Anointing]
Anointing (L)

Concluding Prayer
Blessing (L)
Sign Of Peace


259. There are extreme circumstances in which not even the continuous rite can be celebrated. These occur when the danger of death from injury or illness is sudden and unexpected or when the priest is not called to exercise his ministry until the person is at the point of death.

260. In such a situation of emergency the priest should offer every possible ministry of the Church as reverently and expeditiously as he can. He may be able to provide only the barest minimum of sacramental rites and forms of prayer, but even then he should add other appropriate prayers to help the dying person and those who may be present.

261. If the dying person wishes, the sacrament of penance is celebrated first. If necessary, the confession may be generic. Because of the emergency situation, Viaticum follows immediately. Christians in danger of death are bound by the precept to receive communion. If there is still sufficient time, the Anointing of the Sick may then be celebrated. The brief rite which follows has been provided for the celebration of these sacraments in such a situation. The priest should judge, in light of the particular circumstances, how much or how little of this rite is possible.

262. After the celebration of the abbreviated rite for emergencies, the priest should continue in prayer with the dying person, if possible, and with the family and friends, as suggested in the “Commendation of the Dying”. When death has occurred, some of the prayers suggested at the end of the “Commendation of the Dying” may be said with the family and friends.

263 When a priest has been called to attend a person who is already dead, he is not to administer the sacrament of anointing. Instead, he should pray for the dead person, asking that God forgive his or her sins and graciously receive him or her into the kingdom. It is appropriate that he lead the family and friends, if they are present, in some of the prayers suggested at the end of the “Commendation of the Dying,” as already mentioned. Sometimes the priest may find it necessary to explain to the family of the person who has died that sacraments are celebrated for the living, not for the dead, and that the dead are effectively helped by the prayers of the living.

If the priest has reason to believe that the person is still living, he may anoint him or her conditionally with the words: “If life is in you:...”


264. If the sick person so wishes, the sacrament of penance is celebrated; in case of necessity, the confession may be generic.

The priest extends his hands over the penitent’s head (or at least extends his right hand) and says:

God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, +
and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.


Deus, Pater misericordiárum,
qui per mortem et resurrectiónem Fílii sui
mundum sibi reconciliávit
et Spíritum Sanctum effúdit in remissiónem peccatórum,
per ministérium Ecclésiæ indulgéntiam tibi tríbuat et pacem.
Et ego te absólvo a peccátis tuis
in nómine Patris et Fílii + et Spíritus Sancti.
R. Amen.]


265. The priest may give the apostolic pardon for the dying:

Through the holy mysteries of our redemption,
may almighty God release you from all punishments
in this life and in the life to come.

May he open to you the gates of paradise
and welcome you to everlasting joy.
R. Amen.


Per sancrosáncta humánæ reparatiónis mystéria,
remíttat tibi omnípotens Deus
omnes præséntis et futúræ vitæ pœnas,
paradísi portas apériat
et ad gáudia te sempitérna perdúcat.
R. Amen.]


266. The priest introduces the Lord’s Prayer

Jesus taught us to call God our Father,
and so we have the courage to say:

All say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


267. The priest goes to the sick person and, showing the blessed sacrament, says:

The body of Christ.

The sick person answers: Amen.

Then the priest says:

The blood of Christ.

The sick person answers: Amen.

Immediately, or after giving Communion to the sick person, the priest adds the form for viaticum:

May the Lord Jesus Christ protect you
and lead you to eternal life.
R. Amen.

Others present who wish to receive Communion then do so in the usual way.


268. The priest says

Let us ask the Lord to come our brother/sister N. with his merciful love, and grant him/her relief through this holy anointing. In faith we pray:
R. Lord hear our prayer.


(If the oil is not blessed, the priest blesses it, saying:

Bless, + Lord, your gift of oil
and our brother/sister N.,
that it may bring him/her relief.


Bénedic, + Dómine, hanc Ólei creatúram
et ipsum étiam infírmum (ipsam étiam infírmam)
qui (quæ) hoc leniménto perúngitur. ])

269. The priest anoints the sick person with blessed oil. [If the priest is anointing the sick person conditionally, the sacramental form is introduced with the words: If life is in you:]

First, he anoints the forehead, saying

Through this holy anointing
may the Lord in his love and mercy help you
with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.


Per istam sanctam Unctiónem
et suam piíssimam misericórdiam,
ádiuvet te Dóminus grátia Spíritus Sancti. R. Amen.]

Then he anoints the hands, saying:

May the Lord who frees you from sin
save you and raise you up.

R. Amen.


Ut a peccátis liberátum (liberátam)
te salvet atque propítius állevet. R. Amen.]

The sacramental form is said only once, for the anointing of the forehead and hands, and is not repeated.


270. The priest says one of the following prayers:


you readily take into account
every stirring of good will,
and you never refuse to pardon the sins
of those who seek your forgiveness.

Have mercy now on your servant N.
who has now entered the struggle of his/her final agony.
May this holy anointing and our prayer of faith
comfort and aid him/her in body and soul.
Forgive all his/her sins
and protect him/her with your loving care.

We ask this, Father, through your Son Jesus Christ,
because he has won the victory over death,
opened the way to eternal life
and now lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.
R. Amen.


When anointing and viaticum are given together:

Lord God, merciful Father,
comforter of the afflicted,
look kindly on your servant N. who trusts in you.
Though now weighed down with grievous distress,
may he/she find relief through this holy anointing;
and may the food he/she has received,
the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ,
refresh and strengthen him/her
for his/her journey to life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


271. The priest blesses the sick person:

May the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
come upon you and remain with you for ever.
R. Amen.


Benedíctio Dei omnipoténtis,
Patris + et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti,
descéndat super vos, et máneat semper.
R. Amen.]


272. The priest and the others present may then give the sick person the sign of peace.

273. If the person recovers somewhat, the priest or other minister may continue to give further pastoral care, bringing viaticum frequently, and using other prayers and blessings from the rite of visiting the sick.

274. When death has occurred, prayers may be offered for the dead person and for the family and friends. These are given in nos. 221-222. This may be done in any suitable place, including a hospital chapel or prayer room.

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