Anointing Of The Sick

Girl on a Swing in Central Park. New York Historical Society.

The last days of August. It is time to let be. Time to lie in a hammock and take bribes. Read. Doze. Plan the rest of my life. Anything except trawl for words at a computer. But first, let me post the last of the comments that came in on the declension of Extreme Unction into an all-purpose Anointing of the Sick. A thread that runs through them is recognition of what one respondent refers to as a lack of discernment—or faithful discharge—on the part of either priest or parishioner. Continue Reading
Death of Daniel O’Connell. Currier Lithograph (1847). Museum of the City of New York.

Whatever happened to Extreme Unction? Who are the baleful liturgists who drove a stake through the sacrament and nailed it to the ground? No need to answer that. I know who they are. They are the same ruinous bien pensants who confused the Zeitgeist of the 1960s and ‘70s with the cooing of the Holy Spirit. Let God forgive them; I cannot. Unction for those in extremis was stripped of its exclusive purpose and ritual dignity in the wake of Vatican II. Continue Reading