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The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

Lizette Larson-Miller

2006 Catholic Press Association Award Winner! The ritual Pastoral Care of the Sick offers the church a wealth of assistance in visiting and praying with the sick, in facilitating services of Communion, and in tailoring the sacramental rites of anointing and Viaticum to meet the particular circumstances of each individual illness and journey into death. Anointing of the Sick is a theological introduction to the rite and focuses on the whole spectrum of pastoral care of the sick. Lizette Larson-Miller explores the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and the crucial role played by a biblical text from the Letter of James in reconstructing a rite for the sick rather than only for the dying. She looks at the central sacramental ideas surrounding the anointing of the sick that emerge from the three primary actions: the prayer of faith, the laying on of hands, and the anointing with the blessed oil. Chapters are An Overview of the Rites of Pastoral Care of the Sick, The Threefold Ritual Center of Anointing of the Sick, Theological Questions from the Rite, and The Contexts of Church and Culture for Pastoral Care of the Sick. Lizette Larson-Miller, PhD, is a Professor at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California.

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The Sacrament of Reconciliation

David M. Coffey

2002 Catholic Press Association Award Winner! Although it did not come from Christ in the form it has today, it is clear from Scripture that reconciliation was central to the ministry of Christ. In The Sacrament of Reconciliation David Coffey examines the theology of reconciliation and addresses the crisis that the sacrament faces in the present pastoral situation of the Church. Father Coffey calls on Scripture and tradition, to the magisterium, and to theology in his analysis. However, he also moves beyond these to look at the practice of the Church and to the liturgy as it is regulated, celebrated, and experienced. In doing so, he presents a theology of the sacrament of reconciliation that is truly based on, and inspired by, the liturgy. This theology is molded by two contextual factors: the crisis that the sacrament is currently undergoing in the developed nations of the West and the restrictions imposed by Rome on the "third rite," the most communal of the three forms of the sacrament. Since the sacrament of reconciliation exists for the forgiveness of postbaptismal sin, chapter one is devoted to a theology of sin. Here, Father Coffey identifies what the main theological cause is at the heart of the present crisis, namely, a serious and widespread confusion about the nature of sin. Chapter two focuses on the Church's ministry of reconciliation. This chapter provides both essential knowledge and a response to the widely held view that one does not need to turn to the Church in order to obtain forgiveness from God for sin. Chapter three examines the four parts of the sacrament: contrition, confession, absolution, and the prescribed work of penance. The investigation in this chapter suggests theological limits to possible future reforms of the sacrament. In chapter four Father Coffey offers a detailed examination of the three sacramental rites and the nonsacramental service set down by The Rite of Penance. Finally, in chapter five, Father Coffey offers some predictions about the future of the sacrament, based on his study. Chapters are “A Theology of Sin,” “The Church’s Ministry of Reconciliation,” “The Parts of the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” “The Rites of Reconciliation,” and “Prognostications.” David M. Coffey is a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia. He holds the William J. Kelly, S.J., Chair of Catholic Theology at Marquette University. He has published numerous articles in theological journals and several books.

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The Sacrament of Baptism

Michael G. Witczak

The celebration of the sacrament of baptism underwent a major change in the years after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults was revised to take into account the situation of the contemporary world by incorporating insights from the earliest centuries of the Church. The Rite of Baptism for Children was renewed to take into account the role of parents and godparents in a more direct way. These two situations—the initiation of adults who profess their own faith and the baptism of children whose faith is professed for them—are the object of this book. The symbols and actions of the rites together with the words of Scripture and prayer are explored to answer the question: How do these celebrations reveal a theology of initiation and baptism for today’s Catholic community? Michael G. Witczak, SLD, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and an assistant professor in liturgical studies at The Catholic University of America. His writings have appeared in Theological Studies, Ecclesia Orans, and Liturgical Ministry.

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Sacramental Orders

Susan K. Wood, SCL

Ordained ministry cannot be understood by itself or only in its relationship with Christ. It must find its identity in relationship to the Church, for it exists to serve and build up the Church. In Sacramental Orders Susan Wood places the theology of ordained ministry within its ecclesial foundations, identifying four concepts that shed light on different aspects of ordained ministry and its relationship to the Church: a monarchical and hierarchical concept; a eucharistic, collegial model of ministry representing the communion of particular Churches; the priest, prophet, and king, which structures the concept of the Church as the people of God; and a theology of the Church as a sacrament of Christ and ordained ministry as a sacrament of the Church. Sacramental Orders is a liturgical and theological study of ordained ministry grounded in the liturgy of the 1990 typical edition of the rites. It addresses the three Orders within the one Sacrament of Order: bishop, presbyter, and deacon. By including each order with this study, the interrelationship between the three becomes more apparent, and the theology of one is allowed to inform the theology of the others. Wood points out that one of the challenges in theologies of ordained ministry today is to distinguish a bishop from a presbyter when both are ordinations to the priesthood and presbyters are assuming a greater ministry of oversight as they pastor more than one parish, and to distinguish deacons from presbyters at a time in church history when deacons are assuming more presbyteral functions. Sacramental Orders also focuses on the mutual reciprocity in the relationship between liturgical rite and the theology of the sacrament as explained in ecclesial documents. The ordination rites reflect the theology expressed by Vatican II and yet also present a theology of the sacrament embedded in the liturgical texts and actions. Chapters are "The Ecclesiological Foundations of Ministry," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of a Bishop," "The Sacramentality of Episcopal Consecration," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of Presbyters," "Theology of the Presbyterate," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of Deacons," and "Questions Concerning the Diaconate." Susan K. Wood, S.C.L., Ph.D., is chair of the department of theology at Marquette University, and a member of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue. She is the editor of Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood: Theologies of Lay and Ordained Ministry (2003) and author of One Baptism: Ecumenical Dimensions of the Doctrine of Baptism (2009) both published by Liturgical Press.

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Price: $29.95

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The Sacrament of Baptism

Michael G. Witczak

The celebration of the sacrament of baptism underwent a major change in the years after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults was revised to take into account the situation of the contemporary world by incorporating insights from the earliest centuries of the Church. The Rite of Baptism for Children was renewed to take into account the role of parents and godparents in a more direct way. These two situations—the initiation of adults who profess their own faith and the baptism of children whose faith is professed for them—are the object of this book. The symbols and actions of the rites together with the words of Scripture and prayer are explored to answer the question: How do these celebrations reveal a theology of initiation and baptism for today’s Catholic community? Michael G. Witczak, SLD, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and an assistant professor in liturgical studies at The Catholic University of America. His writings have appeared in Theological Studies, Ecclesia Orans, and Liturgical Ministry.

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The Sacrament of the Eucharist

John D. Laurance, SJ

In The Sacrament of the Eucharist, the latest volume in the Lex Orandi Series, John D. Laurance considers the Eucharist by way of two questions: How, by his first-century life, death, and resurrection, does Jesus Christ save all human beings throughout history from eternal death and make possible their permanent union with God? How is that salvation made available now through the community of the church in her liturgical celebrations? Soteriology and ecclesiology therefore play a prominent role in Laurance's investigation. After forging a theology of the liturgy primarily out of the work of Rahner, Kilmartin, and Chauvet, the author investigates the nature of the lex ordandi, lex credendi relationship and offers guidelines on how best to read the church's faith in her life of prayer. He then uses both steps to discover the faith meaning of a particular Eucharist as typically celebrated in a modern American parish on Sunday morning. John D. Laurance, SJ, is associate professor of theology at Marquette University. He is the author of �Priest' as Type of Christ: The Leader of the Eucharist. His work has appeared in many theological journals, including Theological Studies, Studia Liturgica, La Maison-Dieu, and Louvain Studies. Laurance is the editor of Liturgical Press's Lex Orandi Series.

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