According to the
Baltimore Catechism, the following preparations should traditionally be made...
Q. What things
should be prepared in the sick room when the priest is coming to give the last
A. When the
priest is coming to give the last Sacraments, the following things should be
prepared: A table covered with a white cloth; a crucifix; two lighted candles in
candlesticks; holy water in a small vessel, with a [clean] small piece of palm
for a sprinkler; a glass of clean water; a tablespoon and a napkin or cloth to
be placed under the chin of the one receiving the Viaticum. Besides these, if
Extreme Unction is also to be given, there should be some cotton and a small
piece of bread or lemon to purify the priest's fingers.
Q. What else is
to be observed about the preparation for the administration of the last
A. The further
preparation for the administration of the last Sacraments requires that out of
respect for the Sacraments, and in particular for the presence of Our Lord,
everything about the sick room, the sick person and even the attendants, should
be made as neat and clean as possible. Especially should the face, hands and
feet of the one to be anointed be thoroughly clean.
Note: It is also
recommended to ask the priest regarding proper preparations. One might also
ensure that the priest gives the apostolic blessing (with the attached plenary
indulgence) to someone in danger of death.
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