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Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

Allan Bouley, OSB

Abstract

This research paper explores the Rites of the Sick as a corrective to contemporary North American values surrounding health, sickness and dying. By examining the Church's response to the sick and dying within the lens of the Paschal Mystery, we are able to see a charitable response that is solidly eschatological and ecclesial. First, the North American context of health and sickness is explored. Second, the Christian response to health and sickness is shown to be rooted in the sacramental life of the Church as a sign of the reign of God, revealed through Christ's self-giving and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Third, the tradition of the Church's care for the sick is examined through scripture text and church history which shows a gradual shift toward disintegration within the Roman Catholic approach to the ritual anointing of the sick. The return to an integrated approach to health within the Roman Catholic Church's sacramental ministry is identified in the present-day "Pastoral Care of the Sick", which posits the Church's ministry to the sick and the dying within the prayer of the entire community.

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