Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Spiritual assistance to the dying


1. As the illness becomes more critical, the pastor will make his visits to the sick person more frequent, being incessantly solicitous for his eternal salvation. He will advise especially that he be called at once when danger threatens, in order that he may be of assistance to the dying at the necessary moment. Having administered holy Viaticum and anointing of the sick, if death is imminent he will immediately begin the prayers of commending a departing soul, as explained below. But when time permits, he may first render the following pious service, if he judges it expedient and the condition of the patient warrants.

2. First, in order that the sick person may gain the indulgence granted by lawful ecclesiastical authority, the priest reminds him of this, and explains the conditions for gaining it--above all that he invoke with contrite heart the all-holy name of Jesus, once or repeatedly.

3. Then he recommends and encourages him to elicit, as long as he remains conscious, the acts of faith, hope, and charity, and arouses in him other virtuous dispositions, namely:

That he firmly believe all articles of faith, and all that the holy Roman Catholic and apostolic Church believes and teaches;

that he have confidence that our Lord Jesus Christ, in His boundless clemency will be merciful to him, and that through the merits of His sacred passion and the intercession of Blessed Mary and all the saints, he will come to possess life everlasting;

that he love the Lord God with his whole heart, and strive to love Him with the same intensity of the saints and blessed;

that for the love of God he have heartfelt sorrow for every offense committed against God and neighbor;

that for the love of God he charitably forgive all who have offended him or have been inimical to him;

that he ask pardon of all whom he has offended in word or deed;

that in resignation to God's will and as penance for his sins he bear patiently all suffering and the burden of sickness;

that if the Lord be gracious enough to restore his health, he purpose in future to guard against sin with all his power, and keep the commandments of God.

4. He will encourage him, moreover, to pray as well as he can the following ejaculations from time to time, at least mentally:

Have mercy on me, God, according to your great kindness.

In you, Lord, I have trusted; let me never be confounded.

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit; you have redeemed me, Lord God, ever faithful.

Be pleased, O God, to set me free; make haste, O Lord, to help me.

Be to me, Lord, a divine protector.

God, be merciful to me a sinner.

O most loving Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of your sacred passion receive me into the company of your elect.

Lord Jesus Christ, receive my spirit.

Mary, Mother of God, Mother of mercy, defend me from the evil foe, and receive me in the hour of my death.

Holy angel of God, be my guardian.

All holy angels and saints, intercede for me and hasten to help me.

5. These and like words can be spoken to the dying person by the compassionate priest, depending on the person's ability to understand.

NEXT SECTION: Apostolic blessing at the hour of death  Previous

Previous Visit and care of the sick

Rituale Romanum Index

Rituale Romanum - Roman Ritual