USA Today article on “Last Rights” a bit vague, but worth reading

CLEVELAND — In days long gone, Roman Catholic priests regularly made deathbed house calls, even in the middle of the night with little notice, to pray over the dying and anoint them with holy oils.

The candlelight ritual, popularly known as last rites, continues in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice houses and private homes. But it happens less frequently because priests — the only ones who can perform the service — are in short supply.

Although fewer Catholics are seeking what’s officially known as the sacrament of anointing of the sick, those who do want it could be at risk of reaching their final hours without the prayer-whispering presence of a Roman-collared priest unless they plan ahead.


Editor’s note: For most … especially we Catholics … there’s really no excuse for waiting until the very last moment to make things right with God. The best advice is to always be prepared … and be always “ready to travel” … since you never know when you might be called.

The only time-tested, dependable and approved way to accomplish that is through regular, full, and faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

In a “pinch” never forget the practical value of a good “Act of Contrition” … an “Our Father” … “Hail Mary” … and a “Glory Be” … with a prayer to St. Michael “thrown in” for good measure, whether for you … or for someone you love.  

Suggested additional reading:

Anointing of the Sick, Last Sacraments, and the Apostolic Pardon

A last chance for lost souls

What’s so special about a Roman Catholic priest?

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