TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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The Forgiveness of Sins through the Mystery of Extreme Unction


The Mystery of Extreme Unction is by excellence the instrument used by the Church to carry on Jesus` work of healing, thus offering to those in pain the opportunity to cure themselves from diseases, so that they can consequently praise God and live inside the Christian morals.

The Mystery of Extreme Unction is autonomous, as it is not the sequel of any other religious service or mystery. The gift offered to believers by the Mystery of Extreme Unction is specific to the object of this mystery and does not overlay other mysteries or hierurgies.

By the Mystery of Extreme Unction, one is offered the road to redemption, the curing from diseases and the forgiveness of sins. The priests who conduct the Mystery of Extreme Unction pray to God for the patient`s forgiveness of sins in the same way they do in other instances, when they conduct various hierurgies.

The prayers during the Mystery of Extreme Unction show us that priests don`t pray for just about any sin and, similarly, not for all of them; they merely pray for those that are in direct relation to the disease in cause. The Extreme Unction doesn`t supersede the Confession and, in the prayers that take place during the Extreme Unction, the absolution is not pronounced; however, this doesn`t mean that the priest prays for nothing and that his prayers are not heard. Following the text that lies at the basis of this mystery, the Extreme Unction and the Confession are in a similar relation to the one between the period of hospitalization and the one of convalescence after the hospital days, with the sole specification that the confession is compulsory for maintaining the baptismal garment clean, whereas the Extreme Unction is a mystery the Christian undergoes only when he or she needs the help of the grace this mystery offers.

The prayers during the Extreme Unction show very clearly that this mystery is not inexorably a mystery designed for those on the verge of death, but that it can prepare for the passing away the one who is about to pass away.

Keywords: Extreme Unction, forgiveness, mystery, prayer, disease, absolution, grace