Spring 1969

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Page 95



to teacn anyone sometning in a formal way. One should be careful of this. What is said here is the end-point towards which the priest is trying to instruct the person. The method will depend upon his own personality and the individual patient. The reason for this preparation is to have the person understand his role in the sickness situation. He should have an attitude which sees the Mass, the sacraments and the sacramentals as a means of healing him as a person, no matter what the outward effect may be. Sickness itself should be seen as an evil, as something to be conquered by the Christ-life that dwells with us. It should be seen as being able to be conquered through Christ's law of the cross and by the achievement of physical health. At the same time, as part of the preparation, the sick should be visited by members of the parish. This in itself is an expression of the local church's concern. One must never forget in these visits to the sick to also spend some time with those who take care of the sick since they are also part of the sickness situation. Sickness is a real crisis in the lives of those who take care of the sick, as well as in the lives of the sick person himself. These people should also be invited to any Mass of the sick which may be had. Visitation of the sick, however, is not only a preparation for something to come. It is also a chance to offer the -people in the sickness situation an opportunity to participate in the eucharist and in the laying on of hands.


The Mass for the sick in their home should be prepared for by visitations of the sick. As many of the family and close friends as possible should be present for the Mass since they are the ones that make up the immediate community interested in the health of this individual. What manner of celebration may be desirable in this situation is hard to determine since the conditions will vary. The attitude to be airried for is an attitude of calmness, confidence in Christ's healing action and faith in his all knowing will. The Votive Mass for the Sick is the best Mass to celebrate. The constituent elements of this Mass are of ancient origin. The orations alone go back to the