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The Last Blessing and Plenary Indulgence.
As the hour of death approaches--that awful hour on which so much depends--the pious Christian should fervently prepare to receive the Last Blessing and Plenary Indulgence granted to those who are near their end. For our Lord Jesus Christ promised to St. Peter (Matt. xvi.), the keys of the kingdom of heaven; assuring him that whatsoever he should bind on earth should be bound in heaven, and whatsoever he should loose on earth should be loosed also in heaven. By this power of binding and loosing, derived from St. Peter to his successors, and by them communicated (by faculty) to the pastors of souls, the latter are authorised to grant a plenary indulgence, together with a solemn blessing, to all such as are in or near their last agony. But then the dying Christian should remember well, that, in order to receive the benefit of this plenary indulgence and blessing, it is requisite that he concur on his part, by renouncing and detesting all his sins, both known and unknown, mortal and venial; by accepting with patience and resignation whatever he may have yet to suffer, and offering up his pains and death, in union with the sufferings and death of his Redeemer, in satisfaction for his sins.
To this end the Church directs the Priest that ministers to the sick person, to put him in mind frequently to invoke the name of Jesus, and to exhort him :
1. That he firmly believe all the articles of the faith, and whatever the holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church believes and teaches.
2. That he confidently hope that our Lord Jesus Christ, in his boundless compassion, will have mercy on him; and that, by the merits of his most holy Passion, and through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, he will obtain everlasting life.
3. That he love the Lord God with all his heart, and that he desire to love him more and more perfectly, with that love where with all the Saints and blessed in heaven love him.
4. That, for the love of God, he grieve from the heart for all offences whatsoever that he has committed against God and his neighbour.
5. That, for the love of God, he forgive from the heart his enemies, and all that have in any way injured him and done him wrong.
6. That he beg forgiveness of those whom he has at any time offended in word or deed.
7. That he patiently endure all the pains and discomfort of sickness, for God's sake, in penance for his sins.
8. That if God shall vouchsafe to restore him to his bodily health, he resolve henceforth, to the best of his power, to guard against sin, and to keep his commandments.
While the Priest is conferring the solemn Blessing, the following prayer may be repeated :
O my God, I once more renounce and detest all my sins. Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. I cast myself into the arms of thy holy love, and I resign myself to thy blessed will. Receive me, I beseech thee, into the number of thy servants, that I may praise thee for ever. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.
The Form of conferring the Last Blessing and Plenary
V. Peace be to this house. R. Et omnibus habitanti. R. And to all who dwell bus in ea.
therein. Then is said the Asperges, as at p. 203, after which the Priest
says : V. Adjutorium nostrum in V. Our help is in the name nomine Domini.
of the Lord. R. Qui fecit coelum et ter- R. Who hath made heaven ram.
The Antiphon. Ne reminiscaris, Domine, Remember not, O Lord, the delicta famuli tui (vel ancillæ offences of thy servant (or thy tuæ), neque vindictam sumas handmaid), and take not rede peccatis ejus.
venge of his sins. Kyrie eleison. Christe elei. Lord have mercy. Christ son. Kyrie eleison.
have mercy. Lord have mercy. Pater noster, &c.
Our Father, &c. V. Et ne nos inducas in V. And lead us not into tentationem.
temptation. R. Sed libera nos a malo. R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Salvum (salvam) fac ser- V. O Lord, save thy servant vum tuum (ancillam tuam). (thy handmaid). R. Deus meus, sperantem inŘ . Who hopeth in thee, O
V. Domine, exaudi oratio. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. nem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te R. And let my cry come unveniat.
Let us pray. Clementissime Deus, Pater O most gracious God, Famisericordiarum, et Deus to- ther of mercies and God of all tius consolationis, qui nemi. consolation, who wouldest that nem vis perire in te credentem none should perish who believe atque sperantem, secundum and hope in thee; according to multitudinem miserationum the multitude of thy mercies, tuarum respice propitius fa- look favourably upon thy sermulum tuum (famulam tuam) vant N., whom a true ChrisN., quem (quam) tibi vera tian faith and hope commend fides et spes Christiana com- unto thee. Visit him in thy mendant. Visita eum (eam) salvation; and through the in salutari tuo, et per Unige- passion and death of thy Onlyniti tui passionem et mortem, begotten, graciously grant unomnium ei delictorum suorum to him the pardon and remis. remissionem et veniam clemen. sion of all his sins, that his soul ter indulge, ut ejus anima in at the hour of its departure may hora exitus sui te judicem pro- find in thee a most merciful pitiatum inveniat, et in san- judge; and, cleansed from every guine ejusdem Filii tui ab om- stain in the blood of the same ni macula abluta, transire ad thy Son, may be worthy to pass vitam mereatur perpetuam. to everlasting life. Through Per eumdem Christum Domi. the same Christ our Lord. num nostrum. Then the Confiteor being repeated by one of the attendant
Clerks, the Priest says, Misereatur, &c. as at p. 207, and then proceeds thus :
Dominus noster Jesus Chris. May our Lord Jesus Christ, tus Filius Dei vivi, qui beato Son of the living God, who gave Petro Apostolo suo dedit po. to his blessed Apostle Peter the testatem ligandi atque solven- power of binding and loosing, di, per suam piissimam mise- in his most loving mercy rericordiam recipiat confessio- ceive thy confession, and renem tuam, et restituat tibi store to thee that first robe stolam primam, quam in bap- which thou didst receive in tismate recepisti ; et ego, fa- baptism ; and by the faculty
cultate mihi ab Apostolica given to me by the Apostolic Sede tributa, indulgentiam ple- See, I grant to thee a plenary nariam et remissionem omni- indulgence and remission of um peccatorum tibi concedo; all thy sins. In the name of In nomine Patris, et Filii, et the Father, and of the Son, Spiritus Sancti.
and of the Holy Ghost. R. Amen.
R. Amen. Per Sacrosancta humanæ Through the most sacred reparationis mysteria, remittat mysteries of man's redemptibi omnipotens Deus præsen- tion, may God almighty remit tis et futuræ vitæ pænas, pa- to thee the pains of the preradisi portas aperiat, et ad sent and the future life, open gaudia sempiterna perducat. to thee the gates of Paradise, Amen.
and bring thee to everlasting
joys. Amen. Benedicat te omnipotens May God Almighty bless Deus; Pater, et Filius, et Spi- thee; Father, and Son, and ritus Sanctus. Amen. Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Recommendation of a Beparting Soul.
See Litany for the Dying, in page 637. Proficiscere, anima christi. Go forth, O Christian soul, ana, de hoc mundo, in nomine from this world, in the name Dei Patris omnipotentis, qui of God the Father almighty, te creavit ; in nomine Jesu who created thee; in the name Christi, Filii Dei vivi, qui pro of Jesus Christ, the Son of te passus est; in nomine Spi- the living God, who suffered ritus Sancti, qui in te effusus for thee; in the name of the est; in nomine Angelorum et Holy Ghost, who was poured Archangelorum; in nomine out upon thee; in the name of Thronorum et Dominationum: the Angels and Archangels; in in nomine Principatuum et the name of the Thrones and Potestatum ; in nomine Che- Dominations ; in the name of rubim et Seraphim ; in no. the Principalities and Powers; mine Patriarcharum et Pro- in the name of the Cherubim phetarum ; in nomine sanc- and Seraphim ; in the name torum Apostolorum et Evan- of the Patriarchs and Progelistarum; in nomine sanc- phets; in the name of the torum Martyrum et Confes- holy Apostles and Evange
sorum; in nomine sanctorum lists; in the name of the holy Monachorum et Eremitarum ; Martyrs and Confessors; in in nomine sanctarum Virgi- the name of the holy Monks num et omnium Sanctorum and Hermits; in the name of et Sanctarum Dei : hodie sit the holy Virgins and of all in pace locus tuus, et habitatio the Saints of God: may thy tua in sancta Sion. Per eum- place be this day in peace, dem Christum Dominum nos- and thine abode in holy Sion. trum. Amen.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen. Deus misericors, Deus cle. O God most merciful, O mens, Deus, qui secundum God most loving kind, o God, multitudinem miserationum who, according to the multituarum peccata poenitentium tude of thy mercies, blottest deles, et præteritorum crimi- out the sins of the penitent, num culpas venia remissionis and graciously remittest the evacuas ; respice propitius su- guilt of their past offences; per hunc famulum tuum, N., look favourably upon this thy et remissionem omnium pec- servant, N., and in thy mercy catorum suorum tota cordis hear him begging, with the confessione poscentem depre- whole confession of his heart, catus exaudi. Renova in eo, for the remission of all his piissime Pater, quidquid terre- sins. Renew in him, O most na fragilitate corruptum, vel loving Father, whatsoever hath quidquid diabolica fraude vio- been corrupted through human latum est ; et unitati corporis frailty, or violated through the Ecclesiæ membrum redemp- deceit of the devil; and assotionis annecte. Miserere, Do- ciate him, as a member of remine, gemituum, miserere la- demption, to the unity of the crymarum ejus ; et non ha- body of the Church. Have bentem fiduciam, nisi in tua pity, Lord, on his sighs ; have misericordia, ad tuæ sacra- pity on his tears; and admit mentum reconciliationis ad- him, whose only hope is in mitte. Per Christum Domi- thy mercy, to the sacrament num nostrum. Amen. of thy reconciliation. Through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
Commendo te omnipotenti I commend thee to al. Deo, charissime frater, et ei, mighty God, dearest brother, cujus es creatura, committo: and commit thee to him whose ut cum humanitatis debitum creature thou art : that, when morte interveniente persol- thou shalt have paid the debt veris, ad Auctorem tuum, qui of humanity by death, thou