VIATICUM

VIATICUM

“Love it is that makes you a pilgrim. You are a pilgrim because you love something that you shall not see here, because you are seeking after that which is invisible, which ‘no man has seen and lived’.”

Father Bede Jarrett, O.P.

Viaticum, the traditional name for the final Communion before death, means “food for the journey.” For the dying it is a source of spiritual strength and an immense consolation. The rite for Viaticum directs the minister of holy Communion to say, “May the Lord Jesus Christ protect you and lead you to eternal life.” For the living, too, the Eucharist supports our mortal pilgrimage. It is the most necessary provision to walk the road of life. We are wayfarers, sojourners, passers through this world. To keep us from settling down here, Christ comes to us, to be with us. As Bede Jarrett says: “That is why he came, to give us his company always. We are pilgrims and yet he comes with us. That robs the pilgrim of any real pain.”

Lord Jesus, you offer peace and healing to those who believe in you. May we who have received the food and drink of heaven be led safely into the kingdom of light, our heavenly home. Amen.

Fr. Patrick Mary Briscoe, OP, Eucharist
© 2022 by Our Sunday Visitor (with permission)