Skip to comments.Despite his own injuries, priest gave last rites to crash victims
Posted on 09/18/2008 11:29:05 AM PDT by Between the Lines
Still in a daze from the crash, Donald Ashman walked over to the first body.
Ashman knelt down and lifted a corner of a white blanket covering the body, placed his hand on the man's forehead and said the words he had said so many times before, almost always at a hospital:
"May God Almighty have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins and bring thee to everlasting life."
The prayer took just a few seconds. Ashman returned the blanket and turned to the next victim, not far from the mangled Metrolink train.
He didn't know their names, their ages, their stories. He knew only that they had died and that they had probably been heading home to their families, as he was, after the workday.
Reflecting on that day now, Ashman also knows, as surely as he has known anything in his 62 years, why he was on that train and why he survived.
He was there to administer their last rites.
"I was where God intended me to be," Ashman said in an interview Wednesday from his home in Thousand Oaks.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Oh geez oh pete. Lord Love this good man. I pray someone so righteous is there as I breathe my last breath.
Wow, that’s pretty wild. If I was a survivor I’d be saying “the worms will have a mighty feast this month!”
I see a similarity between this and the Mormon practice of baptizing for the dead which was brought up here a few days ago. In each case it seems one person is taking an action which (in their religious belief) will have some effect upon another in the afterlife. Could a kind Catholic please tell this Catholic-belief-challenged evangelical where this practice comes from, because I am not aware of it in the bible. And if it comes from tradition, that's OK, I just want to be better informed.
I'm neither Catholic nor Morman, but neither practice offends me. I believe them to be useless as the individual's eternal destination has already been sealed once they breathe their last, but I certainly wouldn't get bent out of shape if someone performed either practice on behalf of a member of my family.
If I read the article correctly - this priest is Anglican not Catholic.
Personally, being a Catholic, I still would have appreciated the prayers and annointing.
I’m not overly religious, but anybody is welcome to pray for me to anybody they feel like praying to.
Catholics do not baptise the dead, nor administer any Sacrament to the dead. However, there are two aspects to consider: first, when death seems likely or imminent; and second, after death.
The Last Rites, which generally include Confession for those who are able, Communion for the Dying (called "Viaticum"), and Anointing of the Sick, are for the living who have been baptized and who are thus able to request and receive these Sacraments. If it is unknown whether a person is already dead or perhaps moments away from death, a simple blessing might be used, which is what this priest apparently did. He would have had no way of knowing for sure whether their souls had departed from their bodies.
On the other hand, if the person is already dead, we can still pray for their soul. This is because, as the Church teaches, all believers -- whether living on this earth, or departed ---are members of the Body of Christ, and thus have a living connection with each other.
We believe that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and nothing separates us from the love of each other in Christ. We still love people and care for them and pray for them, and they still love us, care for us and pray for us. In other words, we have a communion with each other --- called the "Communion of Saints" --- which is not broken by death.
All of this is through Christ, with Him, and in Him. We love people forever, not just until they die.
In term of Biblical references, in 2 Maccabees 12:43-46 it says this:
"[After the battle, Judas Maccabeus] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.
(For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead),
And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
This illustrates the practice of praying for the dead under the old law, which was then strictly observed by the Jews of the Maccabee's time.
And of course, the Epistles of Paul are full of teachings that we are all living members of one Body, and that this spiritual relationship is stronger than death.
I’m curious.... last rites AFTER the person has died, does it still apply?
This is done because no one actually knows when the soul leaves the body. So the last rites are administered even though the person is dead in case the soul is still part of the body. There’s no way of actually knowing, so it is done on the assumption that the soul is still salvageable.
Doesn't make a difference, really. Anglicans, Catholics, and Orthodox ---and many others --- would share these beliefs. In fact, the big majority of all Christians over the past 2,000 would have these same beliefs.
Last Rites is one of the Catholic sacraments if that helps any. Though they say this priest was Anglican.
He was anglican...
Donald Ashman, seen at his Thousand Oaks home, is an Anglican priest who was a passenger on the Metrolink train that crashed Friday in Chatsworth. Though still in a daze from the collision, he administered last rites to people who died at the scene. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) September 17, 2008
This priest is what they call a “traditional Anglican”, and more specifically he is a “high church” Anglican because he is under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of Christ the King. The APCK is quite orthodox and traditional — and quite “high” in practice, although they subscribe to the ‘28 prayerbook which is rather anti-Roman in spots. In other words, Catholic in all but name (as opposed to Catholic in name only).
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.
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Resource for Traditional Anglicans: http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com
Humor: The Anglican Blue
Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
About 8 years ago my youngest son was overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning at work. His fellow workers put him on a trailer while they waited for an ambulance. They said that his heart was beating so hard that it was raising his chest by inches. No-one knew what was wrong or what to do, but there was one man who knew that all he could do was pray.
After 2 hours on oxygen he finally regained conciousness and told the Dr. what was wrong with him and they checked and the Dr. said that even after that long on oxygen he still had a lethal dose and should be dead.
Anyhow, when he needed prayer most, God put someone there for him.
Thanks for that info about the High Church Anglicans: I like that “Catholic in all but name (as opposed to Catholic in name only).”
Unless this priest made sure he was only giving last rights to Catholics, is what he did any different from what the some Mormons did?
Because he wasnt taking down names and adding them to the attendance rolls of his religion like the mormons do...
He wasnt making new Catholics...
And he didnt believe he was doing that...
Thanks for the PING...
God Bless this precious man of God...
Mormons don't stop with baptism. The dead are confirmed as members of the mormon church by proxy, and other rituals are performed for the dead in their temples. The dead are given the choice as to whether to accept these ordinances or not.
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD
Baptism for the dead is usually performed by Mormon youths between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Dressed in white clothes, the youth enters the baptismal font and stands upright. Using his (her) left hand, he (she) grasps his (her) own right wrist, and uses the fingers of the right hand to hold the nose shut while being immersed. The person performing the baptism stands at the left side of the youth and grasps the youths right hand with his left hand. He then raises his right arm to an angle of ninety degrees ands repeats the baptismal prayer. Following the prayer, he places his right hand on the youths back and supports him (her) during immersion, raising the youth quickly out of the water to an upright position again, when the ceremony is repeated several more times on behalf of other deceased persons.
Brother _______, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
CONFIRMATION OF THE DEAD
Following baptism, the deceased must be confirmed a member of the Mormon Church. This ceremony does not have to be performed by the same proxy by the baptism, and usually isnt. The proxy sits in a chair, and two Mormon Elders place their hands on the proxys head, and repeat the following, for each deceased person.
Brother _______, in the name of Jesus Christ, we lay our hands upon your head, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, and confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost. Amen.
.ORDINATION OF THE DEAD
This ceremony gives the Priesthood to the deceased.
Brother _______, having authority, we lay our hands upon your head, and confer upon you the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordain you an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, and seal upon you every grace, gift and authority appertaining to this office in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, for and in his behalf, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
An interesting story about baptism of our Founding Fathers.
APKC is of course, sionnsar’s province!
Note the traditional crucifix in the photo!
Yes; that says something, doesn’t it?
No. Baptizing dead Christians from lists of names isn't just praying for dead persons. Administering Last Rights to the body of someone mortally wounded (even apparently deceased) is not the same thing as praying for the dead. But you probably knew that.
The last line of the article says, "Ashman said he plans to return to preaching this weekend. He doesn't know if he'll talk about the crash but expects to talk about healing, of both body and soul."
The Catholic church welcomes and annoints ‘em on the way in and annoints ‘em again on the way out. Well, on the way to Heaven. Birth to death covering.
Then I can only surmise that the fellow in the picture is NOT a vampire!
This reminds me of the only good part of the Apostle....the very beginning at the car wreck.
God bless....I’m not Catholic but I sure wouldn’t mind that last blessing-prayer.
You can’t give “last rites” to the dead. It has to be given conditionally where it is not known if the person is dead or still alive.
God bless Father Ashman.
This is the administration of the Annointng of the Sick — a Sacrament. It is given to the living, not the dead.
The dead can be prayed for, but there is no baptism or sacrament after they die. At the moment of their death, (the particular judgment, is what Catholics call it.) they meet Jesus. No time for anything then.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick used to be called Extreme Unction.
I think Mrs. Don-O has your answer.
If the person being given the last rights hasn't been verified as Catholic and/or hasn't asked for 'last rights', I see no difference between doing that a having the Mormons do a 'baptism for the dead' for someone who isn't Mormon and hasn't asked for it.
Like I said, neither offends me. . .but I don't see any difference between the two scenarios from an 'ethical' perspective either.
Doesn't matter to me. The person is dead and his/her eternal destiny has already been sealed.
The dead are given the choice as to whether to accept these ordinances or not.
Um, how are the dead to make a choice?
Oh, big deal. The write down the name of a dead person. I still don't see any difference.
That's the point, isn't it? According to mormons, that makes it justifiable for the "temple work" of baptism of millions who passed on without being exposed to the "restored gospel" of Joseph Smith.
Of course, no one, including the descendants of many of these dead, has given permission for these rituals to be performed, and many are insulted at the liberties taken in doing this.
True, and some might be insulted if a priest were to give last rights to a member of their family without their permission/request.
Okay. Doesn't change the ethical questions involved.
It may not matter to you, but many people would find it offensive to have themselves confirmed a member of a church they heartily disagree with after their dead (and their loved ones may well too). Of course, I don’t personally think it does me any damage, but so what? It’s not you or my personal feelings on having this done that matters. What matters is that apparently many Catholics do not want their names added to the Mormon Church after they die. Those wishes should be respected.
If the Catholic Church starts adding dead people to their rolls, I will take issue with them as well.
And as I've already stated, many people would find it offensive to have 'last rites' administered by a priest from a church they heartily disagree with. From an ethical perspective, I see no difference between the two actions.