Anointing of the sick. In the Eastern churches, the celebration of the sacrament of the anointing of the sick is
prolonged, [ideally involving several priests]. In reality, this notable duration, different from the brevity of the Western rituals, underscores the mystagogical aspect of prayer that entails contemplation of the wonders of the Lord, proclaimed in various Gospel texts, from which strength and consolation are drawn. Supplication is made for the Lord to grant salvation of the body and soul to the sick, as much in the present circumstances as in the end times, when he will render his faithful participants in the fullness of divine life. If conditions require, the authorities of the individual churches can indicate the parts of the text to be used for celebrations in the house of the sick, when they are gravely ill, or in hospitals. However, it is better for the full formula to be used normally when the sacrament is administered in the church, as already occurs and is recommended, and to many sick people, if possible. In this way, the sacrament maintains its extraordinary catechetical value.
Final considerations. The scope of the present Instruction is to assist the Eastern Catholic churches [in] giving the liturgical celebrations the central place due them in ecclesial life, [and] in full fidelity to the specific features of their own traditions.
The insistence on the full recuperation of Tradition does not mean to function to the detriment of changes necessary for the sensibility of the contemporary culture. Rather it will be opportune in the future to address this perspective in more detail, in the lively hope that it can also account for the experiences that the Orthodox churches will acquire in this field, especially in those territories where they are particularly moved to do so.
Meanwhile, it seemed of primary importance to underscore some general criteria aimed, above all, at recovering a full celebratory coherence in the liturgy in the Eastern Catholic churches, in such a way that the whole church is enriched by their specific heritages.
The indications contained here can be completed by the reflection and contribution of the individual churches sui iuris, dedicating the necessary attention to them by studying how they should be applied in the various individual traditions and conditions.
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Tags: Ecumenism Eastern Christianity Eastern Churches