This unit examines the Catholic Church's ritual care in sickness, dying and death. It explores the ensemble of rites in the ritual books Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum (1983) and the Order of Christian Funerals (1989). Attention will be given to the theological, liturgical and pastoral underpinnings of these rites, examining them as a ritual process through which the church is present in times of sickness, death and bereavement.

Unit Code: DP9422Y

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate a familiarity with the church's rites for the sick, the dying and for those who have died


Explain how these rites embody an organic process of ecclesial pastoral care


Articulate the theology of sickness and death that underpins these rites


Identify the role of the community of faith in times of sickness, dying and death


Discuss the pastoral challenges these rites present and their appropriate adaptation to circumstances


Critically analyse some of the disputed questions in the current praxis of the rites.

Unit sequence

One unit in Liturgy (DL1/8430) or Pastoral Studies, or equivalent


Lectures, seminars, reading


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

Seminar presentation and paper based on Pastoral Care of the Sick – 1000 words

1000 20.0
Critical Review

Article review based on the Order of Christian Funerals – 1000 words

1000 20.0

Essay: 4000 words

4000 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-25 07:45:05 +1000