Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Last Rites

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have L for Last Rites.

According to Wiki, Last Rites are the last prayers and ministrations given to many Catholics when possible shortly before death. The last rites go by various names and include various practices in different Catholic traditions. They may be administered to those awaiting execution, mortally injured, or terminally ill. The last rites are meant to prepare the dying person's soul for death, by providing absolution for sins by penance, sacramental grace and prayers for the relief of suffering through anointing, and the final administration of the Eucharist, known as Viaticum, which is Latin for "provision for the journey."

Dutch School, c.1600: Last Rites, Oil on wood, 92 x 90 cm



 Excerpt from Grim Reaper, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH is let go...

[In which Windle Poons, of the Unseen Universtiy, doesn't quite die] 

"What was being thought by Windle Poons, in the humming, flashing cockpit of his brain, was: well, it's true. There is life after death. And it's the same one. Just my luck"


14 comments:

  1. I wonder how many awaiting execution accept last rites? (As in, accept it in their heart.)

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  2. Another great excerpt...I really have to read this book.

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  3. Interesting theme for the challenge :) Growing up Catholic, I do remember hearing a lot about Last Rites. Usually all hope was gone by the time those words were spoken.

    betty
    http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/

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  4. I guess folks are given Last Rites and then live on....is that like double jeopardy? I like the quote

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  5. Reminds me of a time when a priest came to give last rites to a non-Catholic. In fact, this man was pretty anti-Catholic...

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  6. I think that the idea of last rites has spread to other religious thought, even though it is a Catholic concept. Kind of that deathbed repentance idea, which everyone thinks they'll do.

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  7. methinks, da last thing me needs while dying would be a priest... unless he's a hunky one... naturally

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  8. Many who are awaiting execution change their minds and accept last rites, just as a precaution in case they do end up at St. Peter's Gate. Some get scared as the execution time nears. I have seen an electric chair that was used (an uncle who was a sheriff showed it to me) It was a ghastly looking thing.

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  9. "And it's the same one." Horrors! I am not Catholic but appreciate what hospice workers do to ease the passage of folks and the heartbreak of their loved ones.
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    Happy blogging!

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  10. Condemned to live the same life again and again? Now that strikes me as being hell.

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  11. I'm not Catholic, so this one kinda flies by me. BUT, I suspect that to a Catholic this ritual is comforting. I hope so anyway.

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  12. I like the quote in this post.

    @WeekendsInMaine
    Weekends In Maine

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  13. One of the many times my stepfather was in hospital "on his death bed", a priest came to give him last rites. Amazing how fast a dying man can get up and chase someone out of a room whilst yelling and swearing.

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