5.10 How can sacraments be distributed in an emergency?
The sacraments are deemed so important, that they can be received urgently in case of an emergency, especially when there is a real danger that someone will die. From the early days of the church, a priest was called to pray over a sick person (James 5:14).
- The sick person can confess their sins to a priest and receive God’s forgiveness and absolution in Reconciliation.
- Confirmation can be administered in an emergency by a priest by laying on of hands and anointing with chrism.
- The Anointing of the Sick gives strength to sick and dying people, and forgives their sins. If there is a danger of contagion, the priest can anoint them using a stick or other instrument.
- The last Sacrament is the Eucharist. We call this last Communion viaticum, food for the way. If necessary, this can be a spiritual Communion.
- In an emergency, anyone can baptise with water, as long as they intend to administer a Catholic Baptism.
- Marriage or Ordination can in extreme cases be received even on a deathbed.
See also the Tweeting with GOD app: Mass & Prayers > Catholic Prayers > Tab 7: Prayers for the priest.