What Are the Last Rites?
A brief explanation of the Catholic ceremony administered to the dying.
The Last Rites are officially called the Viaticum, the sacrament of the dying. In Roman Catholicism, the Last Rites consist of a priest administering the Eucharist to a dying person. A lay person who has been designated an Eucharist Minister can also offer the Viaticum.
According to the Church's Canon Law,
Can. 921 §1. The Christian faithful who are in danger of death from any cause are to be nourished by holy communion in the form of Viaticum.
§2. Even if they have been nourished by holy communion on the same day, however, those in danger of death are strongly urged to receive communion again.
§3. While the danger of death lasts, it is recommended that holy communion be administered often, but on separate days.
The sick person responds: "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."
The priest says: "The Body of Christ."
The sick person responds: "Amen."
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