Spring 1969

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Page 97



should be on hand in case of an emergency. Also any sick person present should have the permission of his doctor to be present. This permission is asked so as to avoid any conflict between the doctor and the priest. Also anyone who is sick and has not gone to a doctor should be asked to do so. A full preparation for anyone attending a Mass and in particular a Mass with the, laying on of hands would consist of several counseling sessions with one who is competent, the administrations of a medical doctor and the spiritual direction and confession by a priest. The ceremony of Mass and the laying on of hands would be a culmination of this preparation. It would ritually signify the h£aling situation they are involved in. The Mass itself should be much the same as the ordinary daily Mass. The music should be calm. The singing might be a problem; the Mass should be constructed with this in mind. However if the sick present form a numerical minorit~¡ -and they should if some of their family comes with themthe mood of the music can be strong, vibrant, but not anything to get them too emotionally upset. The offertory procession should include the doctor, a nurse, a member of one of the families and one of the sick persons. The sick persons should be placed near to the altar so that they can see and to emphasize their special role in the eucharist. If the laying on of hands is had, it is best after the homily or at the end of Mass. ln either case there should be a brief explanation of what is about to occur. The individual to be prayed over should come up, and the priest should place his hands on his head and pray over him. Or if it is necessary the priest should go to the sick person and pray over him. Since it is a good idea that the Mass for the sick be a regular affair, the Saturdays of the Ember seasons offer an excellent opportunity for this Mass. First, Saturrlay is a day when many people are free from work. Secondly, the theme of the Ember seasons is one of penance and joy. This was the original theme of the Ember days and it still is evident in the texts. Ember Saturday in winter asks for Christ to come to save man from his bondage to sin. The collect could have one addi-