Cool Priest Home Call/Sick Kit I Found
From this summer:
Here’s a really neat sick kit that I saw at the most fabulous St. Mary’s Bookstore located back home in Nashville. Sweet ain’t it?
St. Mary’s Bookstore is what I like to call “Nashville’s Catholic Nirvana.” It’s a really awesome Catholic bookstore that, while it has great Catholic book selections, has a lot more than just books and first communion cards. It has all sorts of really cool church supplies and Catholic gadgets. Everything from the latest Scott Hahn and Bible translation to clerical shirts to cassocks to vestments to candles and other altar supplies. Saint paintings/pictures, saint statues, medals, collectables, and even Mystic Monk Coffee for all you coffee junkies out there. It’s really the only game in town as far as all this stuff goes so you know St. Mary’s is my hook-up for Catholic stuff needs.
I call St. Mary’s the Catholic Nirvana ( “Heaven” to stay in orthodox terminology) not only because of all the Catholic stuff it has for sale but also because it has 3 floors for patrons to shop on and the higher you go the more Catholic it all gets. The first floor has stuff like statues and figurines, holy water fonts, pictures, medals, candles, and altar bread. The second floor not only has a lot of books, cards, and Bibles but also has Liturgy of the Hours volumes, personal daily Roman Missals ( Ordinary and Extraordinary forms), and more. And the third floor has all the things clergymen need – vestments, clerical shirts and collars, cassocks, missals and other liturgical books, and even some gadgets. Every succeeding level gets deeper into the Catholic game. Now, I am not saying all this because St. Mary’s made a check out to me so I might put some respeck on their name. This is just a friendly shout out. I mention all this to set the up the context for how I found this cool priest home call/sick kit, which was on the highest level of the “Nashville Catholic Nirvana” with all the other clergy items, the thrice blessed third floor.
A home/sick call kit is a portable collection of sacramental items that would be used when a priest visits someone who is sick, homebound, or dying in order to give them either the Last Rites [Confession, Anointing of the Sick (also called Extreme Unction), and final Eucharist (also called Viaticum, “food for the journey) all with the Apostolic Pardon indulgence for the dying] or at least the Anointing of the Sick. (More on Last Rites at Catholic Answers.) These kits often include smaller versions of the liturgical items used by the priest at Mass, such as: chalice, paten, book of official sacramental prayers, purificator, crucifix and candle(s) (with holders), pyx (circular holder used for housing the Body of Christ to be taken to others outside the church). Some other things may also be in the kit, such as a baptismal shell (or other type of water pourer) or sprinkler, and stole. Here’s a modern example of a home call kit:
The one I found at St. Mary’s is obviously a much older example. I do not know how old it was, and I do not remember seeing a year/period listed. Here are some other shots of the kit I saw.
The crucifix and candle combo were particularly sweet looking. This was a lot earlier in the summer, and now I am wishing I took some more in-depth pics of the items. I was actually back at the bookstore the week right before I moved back to the seminary and saw that it was still there. Even though I am not close to ordination, no lie, part of me wants to buy it. Partly because it a cool historical piece, as I am a history guy. But also partly as a good sick kit to have for myself to give the sacraments once that moment comes to step into the rank of presbyter (only if God wills ordination for me). Or maybe get it for Father as a gift. I believe the kit was a little over $100, maybe around $114. Memory’s fuzzy, tho.
As I side note, on the day that I discovered the home call kit I also saw a truly ugly chasuble on the same floor.
The design in the middle is just ughh. It turns the chasuble from the generic to the ugly territory real fast.
The chasuble was still there on the third floor as well during my last visit, no surprise.
But every time I think about that ugly vestment it reminds me of something positive, a rather good bit of nostalgia – the former branding of Kroger’s store brand soda “Big K” that I grew up seeing during my childhood while drinking copious amounts of Big K cold drinks because it was cheap and pretty good for a off-brander I might add). More specifically, it reminds me of the branding for one of the flavors I have forgotten, but the one for the ginger ale comes close.
The one in my mind had a more reddish color in place of the brown/tan-ish wavy line in the shot of the can above. Research told me this design came out sometime during the 90s, which, would explain why it and the chasuble look similar in some respects. Both dated to a long-gone time. But, aaahhhh, lovely nostalgia and memories of childhood. Thank God for that little joy.