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.
. . . well-written, clearly organized, thoroughly documented, very readable, and quite interesting. Anyone interested in sacraments, care of the sick, theological reflection, or medicine and spirituality would find it helpful. It would be a useful theology textbook.
Catholic Studies An Online Journal
[A]nyone involved in pastoral care ministry to the sick and the dying will find this book a sound guide to the sacrament of anointing of the sick.
An excellent commentary on the rites of pastoral care for the sick-but more than that, an up-to-date and profound theological reflection on how we Christians deal with illness and mortality.
John F. Baldovin, SJ, Professor of Historical & Liturgical Theology, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Professor Lizette Larson-Miller, in Anointing of the Sick, offers fresh pastoral insight on the many facets of this ministry. Her book gives readers the historical and theological foundations which undergird `The Pastoral Care of the Sick', but also recovers an important lost dimension of the ministry of healing, namely, those ritual elements which do not require the ministry of a priest. The focus of the book is on the sacramental anointing of the sick, but the reader will also find a thorough discussion of the accompanying rituals as well as an exploration of issues related to the care of the sick which arise today in a rapidly changing medical scene in which pastoral decisions must be made.
The Rev. Prof. Louis Weil, Church of Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California
Larson-Miller's book will provide opportunities for the discussion of historical details, comparative liturgy, and the fundamentals of sacramental theology with a group of students now ready to recognize the importance of these matters.
In this newest volume of the Lex Orandi series, Lizette Larson-Miller has produced a liturgically sound, theologically astute, and pastorally sensitive guide to the Anointing of the Sick in its overall context of our pastoral care. All who seek a well-written and very readable study of the rites of the sick in history and contemporary pastoral-liturgical practice will find here a treasure. Both ecumenically and culturally sensitive in its approach, Anointing of the Sick merits a wide readership.
The Rev. Maxwell E. Johnson, Professor of Liturgical Studies, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Lizette Larson-Miller has produced another excellent work. Anointing of the Sick not only introduces the reader to the history and theology of this sacramental moment in the life of the Church but also contains excellent pastoral reflections and applications with a real sensitivity to other Churches and ecclesial communions. This ecumenical flavor would be enough alone to recommend it highly to a wide audience. Dr. Larson-Miller goes further by posing new, pressing questions to the sacramental life and understanding of the churches. A must read for all those engaged in pastoral theology and teaching.
James F. Puglisi, SA, Director, Centro Pro Unione, Rome, Italy