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How to help someone on their death bed

The paths of the Lord are inscrutable. Sometimes a person, who all his life lived without God, on the threshold of death receives faith, desires to be baptized, that very sacrament about which the Lord said: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). But there is no priest available…

In such situations the responsibility of each Orthodox Christian is to perform baptism "for fear of death." For this one needs to sprinkle holy water, or even plain water, on the ill person and repeat thrice: "The servant of the Lord (full Orthodox name) is baptized in the name of the Father. Amen. And the Son. Amen. And the Holy Spirit. Amen." This baptism is considered valid, and if the sick person becomes well, it is enhanced in Church with the sacrament of Anointment.

Baptizing a person who is unconscious against his will, taking advantage of his bodily weakness, should not be done under any circumstances. The goal does not justify the means. Sometimes it also happens, that one baptized, but distant from the Church, on the threshold of death also wants to confess his sins. Here also each Orthodox Christian of course, if it is impossible to call a priest, is required to accept the confession of the dying. Question any grave sins — killings, abortions, adultery, depravity in all its forms, theft, alcoholism, participation in sects, ties with satanic power through astrology, extrasensory, medicine men. After the confession, a secret to be kept until the grave, fervently pray God that He be merciful to the penitent.

And if there is even the smallest chance of calling a priest to the deathbed, one must perform this kind deed, no matter what the difficulty.

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