Yesterday I was called to a home where a parishioner had just died. It is a privilege for a priest to be summoned at this moment – even before doctor, or funeral director are called. Within minutes I was at the home and able to pray the Prayers for the Dead from the Rites of the Church.
It is not common for a priest to be called at this moment. In the hours or days of a person’s illness, the family may have called a priest to administer the Sacrament of Anointing, but then, more often than not, it is thought that the priest is not needed until the funeral.
Never hesitate to call a priest. You are giving us an opportunity to what we were ordained to do.
So yesterday, in these sacred moments as our friend and parishioner was meeting God, I was able to pray:
Loving and merciful God
we entrust our brother to your mercy.
You loved him greatly in this life
now that he is freed from all its cares
give him happiness and peace forever.
The old order has passed away:
welcome him now into paradise
where there will be no more sorrow,
no more weeping or pain,
but only peace and joy
with Jesus, your Son,
and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever.
May he rest in peace.