The Last Rights, or Eucharist Viaticum, consists of 3 sacraments. These are confession, the anointing of the sick, and final Holy Communion. Each of these is a way to cleanse a person's soul of sins in preparation for the afterlife. In the past, last rites were only given to those who were on their deathbed. It wasn't enough to simply be ill. Today, the Last Rights are standard for any Catholic who is elderly, terminally ill, or undertaking a life-threatening surgery.
- Confession: First, if the sick person is able, he or she should go to a sacramental confession. While this isn't required, it's the best way to ensure the soul is ready to receive the final Communion.
- Anointing of the sick: This practice is preferred when the sick person is not near death. The tradition itself involves anointing a person with oil and reading from Scripture. This is either done for one individual such as a priest or an entire group at a congregation. The anointing of the sick was traditionally only done for those in extreme danger of dying. Today, the Vatican encourages this sacrament for anyone who is sick or in their old age.
- Final communion: Communion is when one receives the Eucharist or the body and blood of Christ after the confession and anointing of the sick. If someone can't travel due to his or her condition, the final communion is brought to them.
If you or a loved one needs to receive the Last Rites, please call the parish office at 512-478-7955 to schedule.