In years gone by, the church would readily dispense to those in serious illness or need Viaticum or, as it became popularly known the Last Rites.
Viaticum, including anointing, confession and Eucharist, were dispensed in the knowledge that the end of your earthly life approached and the Eucharist was received as “food for the journey” from this life to the next. The down side of this was that the priest only came and prayed with you when you were close to death and many people wished that they could receive the sacraments before illness became too serious.
To this end, this sacrament is now celebrated with the Housebound and Sick in Church four times a year:
- in March and September at St Bridget’s and
- in June and December at St Stephen’s.
It is on these occasions that we make a special effort to bring people to the Church who may not get another opportunity to come to Mass. It is also a chance for old friends to come together again after some time and catch up with one another.
Who can receive the Sacrament?
Anyone who feels infirm in mind, body or spirit of any age who wishes to receive the sacrament can contact the priest who will come and pray with you and your family and anoint you.
We celebrate this sacrament in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and in the home as well.