"Last" Rites

Can someone settle a disagreement, please? If you have any documents, that would be helpful too.

I have had several people, including one deacon, tell me that when someone is in danger of death, that a deacon can perform all of the “last” rites with the exception of Confession/Absolution. The deacon was very adamant that he can do the annointing and the Apostolic blessing as well as give Viaticum and say the prayers for the dying.

I have always thought that the Apostolic blessing and the annointing were reserved to priests. And, of course, absolution.

I don’t believe that deacon’s are able to give blessings, so he wouldn’t be able to give the apostolic benediction.

I’m not sure about the anointing with oil (I don’t remember if it’s restricted to a priest or not), but anyone could give a person their Viaticum (their last Eucharist), and anyone can prayer for the dead or dying.

Hi! I believe that in extraordinary circumstances a deacon may hear confessions though because of his ministry he will not be able to give absolutions. If the person is close to death than the circumstances warrant the deacon to hear the confession if there be no priest around and God Himself will grant the absolution. Where there is no priest and deacon and the individual is close to death than all that is required is a confession. God will grant the absolution. The Church knows of only 1 way under normal circumstances when a person is need of absolution. But under extra ordinary let’s say the plane is going down then all is required is for you to confess. God will require the rest. A deacon can administer the other sacraments as long as the priest blesses the anointing oil and consecrates the bread and wine. The deacon cannot bless in the same manner as the priest and he cannot prepare the oils for annointing himself. The priest can do that ahead of time and then the deacon can administer them. Even in the Orthodox Church when the local bishop consecrates the oils for confirmation the priest can administer the sacrament himself. Even the deacon may do this. The Orthodox Church administers the sacrament of Confirmation as soon as the child is baptized. Then the priest administers the sacrament of Holy Confirmation with the blessed oils that the bishop has blessed before hand. Both Catholic and Orthodox have the same requirements and the deacon’s responsibilty is the same. He can only do what his office permits him to do. God Bless!

[quote="Corki, post:1, topic:187078"]
Can someone settle a disagreement, please? If you have any documents, that would be helpful too.

I have had several people, including one deacon, tell me that when someone is in danger of death, that a deacon can perform all of the "last" rites with the exception of Confession/Absolution. The deacon was very adamant that he can do the annointing and the Apostolic blessing as well as give Viaticum and say the prayers for the dying.

I have always thought that the Apostolic blessing and the annointing were reserved to priests. And, of course, absolution.

[/quote]

He can give Viaticum and recite the prayers for the dying. He cannot give the Anointing or an absolution. Point him to this

[quote="Corki, post:1, topic:187078"]
Can someone settle a disagreement, please? If you have any documents, that would be helpful too.

I have had several people, including one deacon, tell me that when someone is in danger of death, that a deacon can perform all of the "last" rites with the exception of Confession/Absolution. The deacon was very adamant that he can do the annointing and the Apostolic blessing as well as give Viaticum and say the prayers for the dying.

I have always thought that the Apostolic blessing and the annointing were reserved to priests. And, of course, absolution.

[/quote]

A deacon cannot anoint the sick or absolve sins:

THE MINISTER OF THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK

Can. 1003 §1. Every priest and a priest alone validly administers the anointing of the sick. Source]

THE MINISTER OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

Can. 965 A priest alone is the minister of the sacrament of penance. Source]

[quote="curlycool89, post:2, topic:187078"]
I don't believe that deacon's are able to give blessings

[/quote]

There are diaconal forms for blessings in the Book of Blessings.

[quote="Corki, post:1, topic:187078"]
Can someone settle a disagreement, please? If you have any documents, that would be helpful too.

I have had several people, including one deacon, tell me that when someone is in danger of death, that a deacon can perform all of the "last" rites with the exception of Confession/Absolution. The deacon was very adamant that he can do the annointing and the Apostolic blessing as well as give Viaticum and say the prayers for the dying.

I have always thought that the Apostolic blessing and the annointing were reserved to priests. And, of course, absolution.

[/quote]

he is absolutely wrong. they actually had a special meeting about this issue a few years ago when I first came to this diocese, I think it was a national thing because my spiritual director at the time was a hospital chaplain and he attended. It appears that many chaplains, even sisters and lay persons, were doing the anointing and prayers, without confession, and the true teaching on the sacrament was reiterated and a definitive ruling repeated. he cannot perform any part of the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. He can administer communion and say certain prayers and blessings, but these is not part of that sacrament. Penance and confession are also a separate sacrament, reserved to the priest, and are part of the Last Rites, which also include the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and administering Viaticum.

[quote="Corki, post:1, topic:187078"]
Can someone settle a disagreement, please? If you have any documents, that would be helpful too.

I have had several people, including one deacon, tell me that when someone is in danger of death, that a deacon can perform all of the "last" rites with the exception of Confession/Absolution. The deacon was very adamant that he can do the annointing and the Apostolic blessing as well as give Viaticum and say the prayers for the dying.

I have always thought that the Apostolic blessing and the annointing were reserved to priests. And, of course, absolution.

[/quote]

A Deacon can administer Viaticum and say prayers for the dying. A Deacon CANNOT delebrate the Sacrament of Anoiniting of the Sick or the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He cannot impart the Apostolic blessing.

"Last Rites" for clarity is the reception of three Sacraments. Reconciliation/Absolution, Anointing of the sick, Holy Viaticum (last Holy Communion), with an Apostolic Blessing.

[quote="Br.Rich_SFO, post:8, topic:187078"]
A Deacon can administer Viaticum and say prayers for the dying. A Deacon CANNOT delebrate the Sacrament of Anoiniting of the Sick or the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He cannot impart the Apostolic blessing.

"Last Rites" for clarity is the reception of three Sacraments. Reconciliation/Absolution, Anointing of the sick, Holy Viaticum (last Holy Communion), with an Apostolic Blessing.

[/quote]

So a Deacon could give a **last **rite. ;)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.