Chapter III. The Other Sacraments and the Sacramentals
59.The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ,
and, finally, to give worship to God; because they are signs they also instruct. They not
only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express
it; that is why they are called "sacraments of faith." They do indeed impart
grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them most effectively disposes the
faithful to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God duly, and to practice
It is therefore of the highest importance that the faithful should easily understand
the sacramental signs, and should frequent with great eagerness those sacraments
which were instituted to nourish the Christian life.
60.Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs
which bear a resemblance to the sacraments: they signify their effects, particularly of a
spiritual kind, which are obtained through the Church's intercession. By them men are
disposed to receive the chief effects of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are
61.Thus, for well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and
sacramentals signifies almost every event in their lives; they are given access to the
stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal mystery of the passion, death, and
resurrection of Christ, the font from which all sacraments and sacramentals draw their
power. There is hardly any proper use of material things which cannot thus be directed
toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God.
62.With the passage of time, however, there have crept into the rites of the sacraments
and sacramentals certain features which have rendered their nature and purpose far from
clear to the people of today; hence some changes have become necessary to adapt them to
the needs of our own times. For this reason the sacred Council decrees as follows
concerning their revision.
63.Because of the use of the mother tongue in the administration of
the sacraments and sacramentals can often be of considerable help to the people, this use
is to be extended according to the following norms:
a)The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and sacramentals,
according to the norm of Art. 36.
b)In harmony with the new edition of the Roman Ritual, particular rituals shall be
prepared without delay by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, §2, of the Constitution. These
rituals, which are to be adapted, also as regards the language employed, to the needs of
the different regions, are to be reviewed by the Apostolic See and then introduced into
the regions for which they have been prepared. But in drawing up these rituals or
particular collections of rites, the instructions prefixed to the individual rites in the
Roman Ritual, whether they be pastoral and rubrical or whether they have special import,
shall not be omitted.
64.The catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be restored
and to be taken into use at the discretion of the local ordinary. By this means the time
of the catechumenate, which is intended as a period of suitable instruction, may be
sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time.
65.In mission lands it is found that some of the peoples already make use of initiation
rites. Elements from these, when capable of being adapted to Christian ritual, maybe
admitted along with those already found in Christian tradition, according to the norm laid
down in Art. 37-40, of this Constitution.
66.Both the rites for the baptism of adults are to be revised: not only the simpler
rite, but also the more solemn one, which must take into account the restored
catechuminate. A special Mass "for the conferring of baptism" is to be inserted
into the Roman Missal.
67.The rite for the baptism of infants is to be revised, and it should be adapted to
the circumstances that those to be baptized are, in fact, infants. The roles of parents
and godparents, and also their duties, should be brought out more clearly in the rite
68.The baptismal rite should contain variants, to be used at the discretion of the
local ordinary, for occasions when a very large number are to be baptized together.
Moreover, a shorter rite is to be drawn up, especially for mission lands, to be used by
catechists, but also by the faithful in general when there is danger of death, and neither
priest nor deacon is available.
69.In place of the rite called the "Order of supplying what was omitted in the
baptism of the infant," a new rite is to be drawn up. This should manifest more
fittingly and clearly that the infant, baptized by the short rite, has already been
received into the Church.
And a new rite is to be drawn up for converts who have already been validly baptized;
it should indicate that they are now admitted to communion with the Church.
70.Except during Eastertide, baptismal water may be blessed within the rite of baptism
itself by an approved shorter formula.
71.The rite of confirmation is to be revised and the intimate connection which this
sacrament has with the whole of Christian initiation is to be more clearly set forth; for
this reason it is fitting for candidates to renew their baptismal promises just before
they are confirmed.
Confirmation may be given within the Mass when convenient; when it is given outside the
Mass, the rite that is used should be introduced by a formula to be drawn up for this
72.The rite and formulas for the sacrament of penance are to be revised so that they
more clearly express both the nature and effect of the sacrament.
73."Extreme unction," which may also and more fittingly be called
"anointing of the sick," is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point
of death. Hence, as soon as any one of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from
sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly
74.In addition to the separate rites for anointing of the sick and for viaticum, a
continuous rite shall be prepared according to which the sick man is anointed after he has
made his confession and before he receives viaticum.
75.The number of the annointings is to be adapted to the occasion, and the prayers
which belong to the rite of anointing are to be revised so as to correspond with the
varying conditions of the sick who receive the sacrament.
76.Both the ceremonies and texts of the ordination rites are to be revised. The address
given by the bishop at the beginning of each ordination or consecration may be in the
When a bishop is consecrated, the laying of hands may be done by all the bishops
77.The marriage rite now found in the Roman Ritual is to be revised and enriched in
such a way that the grace of the sacrament is more clearly signified and the duties of the
spouses are taught.
"If any regions are wont to use other praiseworthy customs and ceremonies when
celebrating the sacrament of matrimony, the sacred Synod earnestly desires that these by
all mens be retained." 
Moreover the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, §2, of this Constitution is free
to draw up its own rite suited to the usages of place and people, according to the
provision of Art. 63. But the rite must always conform to the law that
the priest assisting at the marriage must ask for and obtain the consent of the
78.Matrimony is normally to be celebrated within the Mass, after the reading of the
gospel and the homily, and before "the prayer of the faithful." The prayer for
the bride, duly amended to remind both spouses of their equal obligation to remain
faithful to each other, may be said in the mother tongue.
But if the sacrament of matrimony is celebrated apart from Mass, the epistle and gospel
from the nuptial Mass are to be read at the beginning of the rite, and the blessing should
always be given to the spouses.
79.The sacramentals are to undergo a revision which takes into account the primary
principle of enabling the faithful to participate intelligently, actively, and easily; the
circumstances of our own days must also be considered. When rituals are revised, as laid
down in Art. 63, new sacramentals may also be added as the need for
these becomes apparent.
Reserved blessings shall be very few; reservations shall be in favor of bishops or
Let provision be made that some sacramentals, at least in special circumstances and at
the discretion of the ordinary, may be administered by qualified lay persons.
80.The rite for the consecration of virgins at present found in the Roman Pontifical is
to be revised.
Moreover, a rite of religious profession and renewal of vows shall be drawn up in order
to achieve greater unity, sobriety, and dignity. Apart from exceptions in particular law,
this rite should be adopted by those who make their profession or renewal of vows within
Religious profession should preferably be made within the Mass.
81.The rite for the burial of the dead should express more clearly the paschal
character of Christian death, and should correspond more closely to the circumstances and
traditions found in various regions. This holds good also for the liturgical color to be
82.The rite for the burial of infants is to be revised, and a special Mass for the
occasion should be provided.