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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Death/Dying)

Anointing of the Sick

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Reflections: 

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Death & Dying

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Acceptance of Death

Cemeteries / Burial

Death & Those We Love

Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows

Death is Not the End / Resurrection

Death of the Just

Death of the Wicked

Death / Pain

Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial

Extreme Unction

Fear of Death

A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life

How One Dies is How One Remains Forever

Jesus' Death

Longing For Death

The Moment of Death

Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin

Praise of Death

Prayer For the Dead

Preparing For Death

Traditional Teaching on Cremation

Uncertain Moment of Death

Misc.

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Category
Quotation

Acceptance of Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"To accept death in order that the will of God may be fulfilled, merits for us a reward similar to that of the martyrs, because they accepted death to please God. He who dies in union with the will of God makes a holy death; and the more closely he is united to it, the more holy death he dies. The Venerable Blosius declares that an act of perfect conformity to the will of God at the hour of death not only delivers us from Hell but also from Purgatory." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Suffering & Death | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Preparing For Death | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | The Moment of Death | Fear of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Uncertain Moment of Death | Death (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Cemeteries / Burial

"Can. 1205 § 1 The corpses of the faithful are to be buried in a cemetery that, according to the rites given in the approved liturgical books, is blessed, either with a solemn blessing or a simple one given by those mentioned in Canons 1155 and 1156. § 2 Corpses are not to be buried in churches, unless it concerns the corpses or residential Bishops, or Abbots or Prelates of no one, who are to be buried in their churches, or the Roman Pontiff, or royal persons, or Cardinals of the H.R.C." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1206 § 1 The Catholic Church has the right of possessing her own cemeteries. § 2 Wherever this right of the Church is violated and there is no hope that the violation shall be repaired, local Ordinaries shall take care that cemeteries, in their own civil societies, are blessed, if they are so arranged that the majority [of corpses there] are of Catholics or at least, if Catholics have a space therein, that the space reserved for them is likewise blessed. § 3 If not even this can be obtained, individual graves shall be blessed as often as [they are used] according to the rites given in the approved liturgical books." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1207 Whatever the canons prescribe concerning interdiction, violation, and reconciliation of churches is applied to cemeteries also." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1210 Every cemetery shall be enclosed everywhere and safely locked." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1211 Local Ordinaries, pastors, and Superiors who look to such things shall take care lest in cemeteries epitaphs, funeral praises, and ornate monuments, [and] anything [else] inconsistent with Catholic religion and piety occur." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1180 §1 If a parish has its own cemetery, the deceased faithful are to be buried there, unless another cemetery has lawfully been chosen by the deceased person, or by those in charge of that person's burial. §2 All may, however, choose their cemetery of burial unless prohibited by law from doing so." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1240 §1 Where possible, the Church is to have its own cemeteries, or at least an area in public cemeteries which is duly blessed and reserved for the deceased faithful. §2 If, however, this is not possible, then individual graves are to be blessed in due form on each occasion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"As Augustine says (De Cura Gerenda pro Mortuis iv), the devotion of the faithful is not fruitless when they arrange for their friends to be buried in holy places, since by so doing they commend their dead to the suffrages of the saints" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since flesh is a part of man's nature, man has a natural affection for his flesh, according to Ephesians 5:29, 'No man ever hated his own flesh.' Hence in accordance with this natural affection a man has during life a certain solicitude for what will become of his body after death: and he would grieve if he had a presentiment that something untoward would happen to his body. Consequently those who love a man, through being conformed to the one they love in his affection for himself, treat his body with loving care. For as Augustine says (De Civitate Dei i,13): 'If a father's garment and ring, and whatever such like is the more dear to those whom they leave behind the greater their affection is towards their parents, in no wise are the bodies themselves to be spurned which truly we wear in more familiar and close conjunction than anything else we put on.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Although the place of burial evokes sadness at parting with the earthly company of a brother or sister in the Christian community, it is also a symbol of hope in God and in His promise to raise our bodies in glory like the Risen Body of His Son seated at His right hand. The place of burial is sacred, for it receives the human body which has been a temple of the Holy Spirit, the instrument by which the Christian soul expressed itself in the world... What is more, the body received by the grave or tomb in burial is destined for resurrection on the Last Day. After the celebration of the Funeral Mass or Funeral Liturgy with the body of the deceased present, the body is interred or entombed in expectation of its resurrection on the Last Day. Burial of the body of the deceased is done in imitation of the burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the sure hope of sharing in His Resurrection. Because of the central place which care for the burial of the dead has in the life of faith, burying the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2447). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us about respect for the body of the dead: The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit. (No. 2300) The love which we are called to show to one another in life continues in death through our reverent burial of the dead and our prayers for their eternal rest. The carrying out of the rites of Christian burial is one of the principal works of the parish priest who with 'generous love' is 'to help the sick, particularly those close to death, by refreshing them solicitously with the sacraments and commending their souls to God.' (Can. 529, § 1; cf. 530, no. 5) The body of the deceased Christian is either buried in the ground (interment) or entombed in a mausoleum (entombment). Both interment and entombment symbolize the placing of the body in a sacred place while it awaits the resurrection on the Last Day." (On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Bishop Raymond L. Burke/La Crosse)

"The word which early Christians gave to the place for the burial or entombment of the dead, cemetery, comes from the Greek word for dormitory. It expresses the belief of the Christian that the bodies of the dead rest in their place of burial or entombment until the resurrection of the body on the Last Day. Like the Christian grave or tomb, the Catholic cemetery is sacred and is to be maintained accordingly. In the Catholic cemetery, the ground is blessed for the purpose of burials. The Church has a special rite for the blessing of a cemetery, which is to be properly documented. (Cf. Can. 1208) Church law requires that, when possible, the Church have its own cemeteries or, at least, a part of the civil cemetery designated for Catholic burials. (Cf. Can. 1240, § 1) If it is not possible to inter or entomb the dead in a Catholic cemetery or a Catholic section of a public cemetery, in which the ground or tomb is already blessed, then the individual grave or tomb is to be blessed during the rite of committal. (Cf. Can. 1240, § 2) The Order of Christian Funerals provides distinct prayers for the committal of the mortal remains in each situation. (Cf. OCF, No. 218) The Church cares for her cemeteries in perpetuity even if the parish which established the cemetery no longer exists. In the case of the suppression of a parish with its proper cemetery, the care of the cemetery is assigned to the pastor and faithful of a neighboring parish. The perpetual care funds of the cemetery remain inviolate and are administered so that they may provide for the ongoing maintenance of the cemetery. The cemetery retains its own committee or association which is governed by proper statutes. The Catholic cemetery is arranged and adorned in a way which expresses the truth about death and the resurrection of the body. The direct care of the cemetery by the Church permits a strong witness to the Christian belief regarding death and provides the opportunity for the Church to carry out, to the fullest extent possible, her responsibilities toward the dead. The Catholic cemetery offers a permanent invitation to reflect upon death as the gateway to eternal life." (On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Bishop Raymond L. Burke/ La Crosse)

Also See: Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial | Traditional Teaching on Cremation | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death & Those We Love

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Death & Those We Love

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"[L]ove is stronger than death." (Gueranger)

"They are not lost, but gone before." 

"Do you think that if something be withdrawn from your feeble eyes, it perishes to God?" [Minucius Felix (early Christian apologist), 3rd century A.D.]

"If thou grievest for the dead, mourn also for those who are born into the world; for as the one thing is of nature, so is the other too of nature." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"We must accept our own death, and that of our relations, when God shall send it to us, and not desire it at any other time; for it is sometimes necessary that it should happen at that particular moment, for the good of our own and their souls." (St. Philip Neri)

"Our brethren who are freed from this world by the Lord's summons are not to be mourned, since we know that they are not lost to us, but only sent on ahead of us. Departing from us, they precede us as travelers, just as navigators are accustomed to do." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"Strangers as we are and pilgrims on the earth, let us fix our hearts and our thoughts on the day which will give to each of us a home, and restore us to paradise. Who, that is on a voyage, would not hasten to return to his country! Who, that is on the way home, would not eagerly desire a favorable wind, that he might the sooner embrace his dear ones! Parents, brothers, children, friends in multitudes impatiently await us in our heavenly fatherland; blessed crowd! Already secure of their own eternal happiness, they are solicitous about our salvation. What joy for them and for us, when at length we see them and they may embrace us!" (St. Cyprian)

"A great mystery is accomplished in our dead. A mystery of praise and of joy, when, summoned by the King of kings, the soul goes to meet her Lord, accompanied by angels sent from heaven for the purpose! And thou - dost thou lament? When the bridegroom to whom thou hast given thy daughter carries her to a far country, thou dost not complain, provided he makes her happy; although her absence is a grief to thee, the sadness is tempered. And now, because it is not a man, a fellow-slave, but the Lord Himself that claims one of thy family, is thy grief to be without measure? I do not forbid thee to shed a tear; weep, but be not disconsolate even as others who have no hope. And be ready also to return thanks, as is meet; honoring thereby thy dead, as well as glorifying God, and thus giving them magnificent obsequies." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Why should you grieve, if you do not believe he has perished? Why should you bear impatiently the temporary withdrawal of one whom you believe will return? That which you think is death is only a departure. He that goes before us is not to be mourned, though of course he may be longed for. But even that longing must be tempered with patience. Why should you bear immoderately the departure of one whom you will soon follow? Besides impatience in such matters bodes ill of our hope, makes lie of our faith and we wound Christ when we do not accept with equanimity the summoning of any by Him, as if they were to be pitied. 'I desire,' says the Apostle, 'to be taken now and to be with the Lord.' How better is the desire he expresses! If we grieve impatiently when others have obtained the desire of Christians, we show ourselves unwilling to obtain it." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"Cease now each sad complaint; ye mothers, check, your tears; let no man mourn the pledges he has given: for this death is the restoration of life. What mean these sculptured marbles, and these fair monuments, save that what is committed to them is not dead, but laid to sleep? For this body, which we see lying lifeless, yet a little while and it will seek once more the companionship of the spirit that has fled on high. Quickly shall the time come, when friendly life shall make these cold embers glow; and, animating them with circling blood, shall take back her former dwelling. The motionless corpses, that have lain corrupting in their graves, shall be caught up into the swift air, united to the same souls as before. Even thus do the dry seeds, dead and buried, become green blades; and, springing up from the sward, recall the former ears. Receive no, O earth, this deposit into thy care, and cherish it in thy tender bosom: 'tis the form of a man I place in thee, noble remains I entrust to thee. This was once the home of a spirit breathed from the mouth of its Creator; Christ ruled these members, and his holy wisdom dwelt therein. Then shelter the body confided to thee: he who made it will not forget it, but will ask back the gifts he had given, and the likeness of his own countenance. Soon the promised time will come, when God shall fulfill all hope; then thou must needs open thy bosom, and restore this form such as I give it thee. Amen." (Hymn, Octave of All Saints)

Also See: Suffering & Death | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Preparing For Death | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Extreme Unction | Uncertain Moment of Death | Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial | Cemeteries / Burial | Prayer For the Dead | Death (Topical Scripture)

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Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"That death is not to be judged an evil which is the end of a good life; for death becomes evil only by the retribution which follows it. They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but in what place death will usher them." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Sin & Vice [Pg.] | Reward / Punishment | Fear of Death | Praise of Death | Preparing For Death | Longing For Death | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | Extreme Unction | The Moment of Death | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Prayer For the Dead | Tough Love in the New Testament | Eternal Life / Eternity (Topical Scripture) | Judgment (Topical Scripture)

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Death is Not the End / Resurrection

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Death of the Just

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"How consoling it is to see a just man die! His death is good, because it ends his miseries; it is better still, because he begins a new life; it is excellent, because it places him in sweet security. From this bed of mourning, whereon he leaves a precious load of virtues, he goes to take possession of the true land of the living, Jesus acknowledges him as His brother and as His friend, for he has died to the world before closing his eyes from its dazzling light. Such is the death of the saints, a death very precious in the sight of God. But, on the other hand, see how shocking is the death of the wicked. The least evil is the loss of all the good things of this world; the separation of body and soul is more dreadful still, but the worst of all is the devouring flame, the gnawing worm that never dies." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"As the lot of the reprobate is to die in sin, that of the elect is to expire in the love and grace of God, which is effected in several ways. Many of the saints died, not only in the state of charity, but in the actual exercise of divine love. St. Augustine expired in making an act of contrition, which cannot exist without love; St. Jerome, in exhorting his disciples to charity and the practice of all virtues; St. Ambrose, in conversing sweetly with his Savior, whom he had received in the Holy Eucharist; St. Antony of Padua also expired in the act of discoursing with our Divine Lord, after having recited a hymn in honor of the ever-glorious Virgin; St. Thomas of Aquinas, with his hands clasped, his eyes raised to heaven, and pronouncing these words of the Canticles, which were the last he had expounded: 'Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field' (Cant. vii. II). All the apostles, and the greater number of the martyrs, died in prayer. Venerable Bede, having learned the hour of his death by revelation, went to the choir at the usual hour to sing the evening office, it being the feast of the Ascension, and at the very moment he had finished singing vespers he expired, following his Guide and Master into Heaven, to celebrate His praises in that abode of rest and happiness, round which the shades of night can never gather, because it is illumined by the brightness of the eternal day, which neither dawns nor ends...The fervor and ardor of St. Martin at the hour of his death are remarkable. St. Louis, who has proved himself as great a monarch among the saints as an eminent saint among kings, being attacked by the plague, ceased not to pray, and after receiving the viaticum, he extended his arms in the form of a cross, fixed his eyes on heaven, and, animated with love and confidence, expired in saying with the Psalmist: 'I will come into Thy house, O Lord; I will worship towards Thy holy temple, in Thy fear' (Ps. 5: 8). St. Peter Celestine, after having endured the most cruel and incredible afflictions, seeing the end of his days approach, began to sing like the swan, and terminated his song with his life, by these words of the last Psalm: 'Let every spirit praise the Lord' (Ps. 150: 5). St. Eusebia, surnamed the Stranger, died kneeling in fervent prayer. St. Peter the Martyr yielded his last sigh in writing (with his finger, which he had dipped in his blood) the articles of the faith for which he sacrificed his life, and in saying: ' Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit' (Ps. 30: 6). The great apostle of the Indies and Japan, St. Francis Xavier, expired holding a crucifix, which he tenderly embraced, and incessantly repeated in transports of love, ' O Jesus! the God of my heart!'" (St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church) 

Also See: Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Reward / Punishment | Holiness / Virtue [Pg.] | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Death of the Wicked | Eternal Life / Eternity (Topical Scripture) | Judgment (Topical Scripture) | Resurrection (Topical Scripture) | Saints Section 

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Death of the Wicked

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Such is the death of the saints, a death very precious in the sight of God. But, on the other hand, see how shocking is the death of the wicked. The least evil is the loss of all the good things of this world; the separation of body and soul is more dreadful still, but the worst of all is the devouring flame, the gnawing worm that never dies." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Reward / Punishment | Sin & Vice [Pg.] | Eternal Punishment / Eternal Destruction (Topical Scripture) | Judgment (Topical Scripture) | Tough Love in the New Testament | Death of the Just

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Death / Pain

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"For if there is no pain in death, or very little, the glory of martyrdom would not be great." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"But whatever be the pain of death, it ought to be conquered by the strength of love for Him, Who being our life, voluntarily also underwent death for us." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Suffering & Death | Sickness / Illness | Suffering | Pain | Trials & Tribulations | The Cross / Crosses | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Extreme Unction | Fear of Death | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | The Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Preparing For Death

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial

Also See: Catholic Funeral (Topic Page)

"Can. 1204 Ecclesiastical burial consists in the transfer of the corpse to a church, the funeral services [that are] celebrated over it in same, and its deposition in a place legitimately deputed for laying down the faithful departed." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1215 Unless grave cause prevents, the bodies of the faithful, before they are buried, are to be transferred from the place in which they rest to a church, where funeral rites, that is, all of the order of burial that is described in the approved liturgical books, are conducted." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Canon 1218 § 3 Although transfer to the church of funeral or burial [may be] inconvenient, nevertheless, it is always basic that the family, heirs, or other interested persons can carry the corpse to it, having taken up the expenses of the transfer." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1223 It is permitted to all, unless they are expressly prohibited by law, to choose the church of funeral and the cemetery of burial. § 2 A wife and pubescent children are entirely immune in this selection from the power of the husband and parents." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1235 § 1 It is strictly prohibited for anyone, for the sake of burial or funeral services or on the anniversary of death, to require anything beyond that which is established in the index or diocesan rates. § 2 The poor are entirely free [of the obligation of paying] and should decently receive funerals with prescribed services and burial according to liturgical laws and diocesan statues." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1239 § 1 Those who die without baptism are not to be accorded ecclesiastical burial. § 2 Catechumens who through no fault of their own die without baptism are to be reckoned as baptized. § 3 All baptized are to be given ecclesiastical burial unless they are expressly deprived of same by law." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1240 § 1 Unless they gave before death a sign of repentance, the following are deprived of ecclesiastical burial: 1° Notorious apostates from the Christian faith, or those who notoriously gave their name to heretical sects or schismatic or Masonic sects, or other societies of this sort; 2° Excommunicates or those under interdict after a condemnatory or declaratory sentence; 3° Those who killed themselves by deliberate counsel; 4° Those who died in a duel, or from wounds related thereto; 5° Those who ordered that their body be handed over for cremation; 6° Other public and manifest sinners. § 2 If there is any doubt about the occurrence of the above-mentioned in a case, the Ordinary is to be consulted if there is time; if doubt remains, the body should be accorded ecclesiastical burial, but in such a way that scandal is removed." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1241 One excluded from ecclesiastical burial is also to be denied any funeral Mass, even on the anniversary, as well as other public funeral offices." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 2339 Whoever dares to order or force the ecclesiastical burial of infidels, apostates from the faith, or heretics, schismatics, or others, whether excommunicated or interdicted, against the prescriptions of Canon 1240, § 1, contracts automatic excommunication reserved to no one; but those giving them burial on their own [contract] interdict from entering churches reserved to the Ordinary." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1176 §1 Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1177 §1 The funeral of any deceased member of the faithful should normally be celebrated in the church of that person's proper parish. §2 However, any member of the faithful, or those in charge of the deceased person's funeral, may choose another church; this requires the consent of whoever is in charge of that church and a notification to the proper parish priest of the deceased. §3 When death has occurred outside the person's proper parish, and the body is not returned there, and another church has not been chosen, the funeral rites are to be celebrated in the church of the parish where the death occurred, unless another church is determined by particular law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1181 The provisions of Can. 1264 are to be observed in whatever concerns the offerings made on the occasion of funerals. Moreover, care is to be taken that at funerals there is to be no preference of persons, and that the poor are not deprived of proper funeral rites." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1182 When the burial has been completed, a record is to be made in the register of deaths according to the norm of particular law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1184 §1 Church funeral rites are to be denied to the following, unless they gave some signs of repentance before death: 1° notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics; 2° those who for anti-Christian motives chose that their bodies be cremated; 3° other manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful. §2 If any doubt occurs, the local Ordinary is to be consulted and his judgement followed." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1185 Any form of funeral Mass is also to be denied to a person who has been excluded from a Church funeral." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"382. At the Funeral Mass there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind." [General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), 2003 A.D.]

"Today, it sometimes happens that the family of a very elderly relative who has few or no surviving relatives and friends decides that, since probably only a few of the faithful will participate in the Funeral Mass, it should be eliminated from the funeral rites. This is certainly erroneous thinking. First of all, no matter how few faithful participate in the Mass, it remains the solemn and efficacious prayer of the whole Church on behalf of the dead person, the Church's way of bringing to reverent burial her deceased member." (On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Bishop Raymond L. Burke/ La Crosse)

Also See: Cemeteries / Burial | Traditional Teaching on Cremation | Death & Those We Love | Death is Not the End / Resurrection

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Extreme Unction

Also See: Sickness / Extreme Unction (Topic Page)

"[This holy Synod] declares and teaches, that our most gracious Redeemer, - who would have his servants at all times provided with salutary remedies against all the weapons of all their enemies, - as, in the other sacraments, He prepared the greatest aids, whereby, during life, Christians may preserve themselves whole from every more grievous spiritual evil, so did He guard the close of life, by the sacrament of Extreme Unction, as with a most firm defense. For though our adversary seeks and seizes opportunities, all our life long, to be able in any way to devour our souls; yet is there no time wherein he strains more vehemently all the powers of his craft to ruin us utterly, and, if he can possibly, to make us fall even from trust in the mercy of God, than when he perceives the end of our life to be at hand." (Council of Trent)

Also See: Sickness / Illness | Preparing For Death | Sacrament of Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick (Reflections) | Sacraments Section | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | The Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Uncertain Moment of Death | Extreme Unction/Anointing of the Sick (Topical Scripture)

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Fear of Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"[Death is] not a thing to be feared."

"Fear of death is for those who aren't willing to go to Christ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"If we fear death before it comes, we shall conquer it when it comes." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The foolish fear death as the greatest of evils, the wise desire it as a rest after labors and the end of ills." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Fear of death is a property of nature due to disobedience, but terror of death is a sign of unrepented sins." (St. John Climacus)

"There is nothing dreadful in that [death] which delivers from all that is to be dreaded." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"What is death at most? It is a journey for a season: a sleep longer than usual. If thou fearest death, thou shouldst also fear sleep." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"St. Augustine says that he who fears death does not love God; that is very true. If you had been long separated from your Father, would you not be happy to see him again?" (St. John Vianney)

"Therefore, brethren, as the Lord said, let us not fear those who kill the body. Or, they do not annihilate that life, but merely pull it down while they are changing it from temporary life unto something everlasting." (St. Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church)

"It is not Death that will come to fetch me, it is the good God. Death is no phantom, no horrible specter, as presented in pictures. In the catechism it is stated that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all! Well, I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me to the good God forever." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

"I find that the saints have trembled at the hour of death; how much more ought I to tremble! I answer: Is it true that Hell does not cease to assail even the saints at death, but it is also true that God does not cease to assist his servants at that moment; and when the dangers are increased, he multiplies his help." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"[F]or death scares only those who are still in a state of sin, not those who, like St. Paul, desire to die and be with Christ, or lament with Job that their days are prolonged, much as they long to depart. Indeed, were you a man such as I should wish to see you, the heaviest cross you could bear would be the powerlessness to die for Christ" (St. Robert Southwell)

"Having thus called upon His disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross, the hearers were filled with great terror, therefore these severe tidings are followed by more joyful; For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy Angels. Do you fear death? Hear the glory of the triumph. Do you dread the cross? Hear the attendance of the Angels." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is marvelous that, after so long, our imaginations should still be so tormented and oppressed by the thought of death; that we should still be so without understanding that we think it morbid to be in love with death, for it is far more morbid to be in fear of it. It is not that our reason or our faith are at fault; it is only that that most active and untamable faculty of ours, which we call imagination, has not yet assimilated the truth, accepted by both our faith and our reason, that for those who are in the friendship of God death is simply not at all which it is to others. It does not, as has been said, end our lives or our interest; on the contrary, it liberates and fulfills them." (Benson)

Also See: Death / Pain | Fear of Hell | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Reward / Punishment | Praise of Death | Preparing For Death | Longing For Death | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | Extreme Unction | The Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture)

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A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Of all the things of life, a happy death is our principal concern. For if we attain that, it matters little if we lose all the rest. But if we do not attain that, nothing else is of any value." (Bl. Juniperro Serra)

Also See: How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Reward / Punishment | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | Preparing For Death | Longing For Death | Praise of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Uncertain Moment of Death | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | The Moment of Death

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How One Dies is How One Remains Forever

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Human beings die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27)

"What he dieth, that must he be forever; as the tree falleth, so must it lie." (Cardinal Newman)

"If we were required to die twice, we could jettison one death. But man dies once only, and upon this death depends his eternity. Where the tree falls, there it shall lie. If, at the hour of death, someone is living in bad habit, the poor soul will fall on the side of hell. If, on the other hand, he is in the state of grace, it will take the road for heaven. Oh, happy road!" (St. John Vianney)

"But let everyone know that whenever or however a person dies in mortal sin without making amends when he could have done so and did not, the devil snatches up his soul out of his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | Perseverance | Reward / Punishment | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | Extreme Unction | Preparing For Death | The Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Uncertain Moment of Death | It's Never Too Late While Living (Catholic Seniors Section)

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Jesus' Death

Also See: Good Friday (Topic Page)

"There was never anyone more beloved by God, nor anyone more despised by men than Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified by his own people. Notice the gratitude that the world shows him in return for all of his extraordinary deeds and miracles. He is put to death as if he were the worst of thieves and dies as the poorest of men. He does not die in a comfortable feather bed, but on the hard wood of the Cross; not in a house or under a protecting roof, but in the open air, in a frightfully foul place; not in a private room, but publicly on a Cross; not in the company of his disciples, but between two thieves; not in the arms of his loving Mother, but between those of a tall Cross. He did not even have a few handfuls of straw beneath him, nor over him a covering of the poorest linen. He had no pillow for his head, but a crown of sharp thorns instead. There were no sandals on his feet nor gloves on his hands, but as substitutes he had iron nails that pierced through his flesh and bones. In this dire distress of his, there was no one to minister to him, but an impenitent thief at his side, a degenerate criminal, who showered him with shameful insults. There was no one to console him...He could move neither hand nor foot, nor turn on his side - he found no relief for his body's pain, not even in the slightest. He remained immobile, stretched to the straining point, every organ dreadfully distended. No one there tried to console him. No one thought of helping him. No one was interested in him... There remained only his tongue that he could use. He prayed for his enemies" (Thomas a Kempis)

Also See: The Cross / Crosses | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Jesus' Passion (Topical Scripture) | Catholic Basics Section

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Longing For Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, (for) that is far better. Yet that I remain (in) the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me when I come to you again." (Phil. 1:21-26)

"Jesus, destroy this chain of a body, for I shall never be content until my soul can fly to you. When shall I be completely blessed in you?" (St. Gemma Galgani)

"Death, my sister, if you do not open the gate to me, I cannot enter to enjoy my God." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"The foolish fear death as the greatest of evils, the wise desire it as a rest after labors and the end of ills." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Praise of Death | Acceptance of Death | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Preparing For Death | The Moment of Death

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The Moment of Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"You should carry the passion of God in your hearts, for it is man's consolation in his last hour." (St. Nicholas of Flue)

"He will not taste death forever who in his dying moments has recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary." (Pope Pius XI)

"At death, the Devil exerts all his powers to secure the soul that is about to leave this world; for he knows, from the symptoms of the disease, that he has but little time to gain her for eternity." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Lord, remember me in your kingdom. Do not abandon me at death's fearful moment, when my strength begins to leave me, when my voice becomes only a whisper, when my sight grows dim and my hearing almost nil. At that moment, good Jesus, come to my aid; send your holy angels to comfort me in my agony and may the hateful enemy, who subtly awaits my final hour, not prevail over me." (Thomas a Kempis)

"Still more pernicious is the language addressed sometimes by friends and relations to a person suffering with a mortal disease and on the point of death, when they assure him that there is no danger of dying, telling him to be of good spirits, dissuading him from confession, as though the very thought should fill him with melancholy, and finally withdrawing his attention from all care and thought of the dangers which beset him in the last perilous hour." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If the devil tries to terrorize you, invoke the name of Jesus and raise the standard of the holy Cross. If he counters by narrating your many sins and past misdeeds, then respond by reciting the infinite merits of Christ. Also remember the seven words Jesus spoke from the Cross for your instruction... [W]hen you are about to depart this world, you are not to be remiss in voicing and frequently repeating the words of his final commendation ("Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"). You will find at the end that there are none more meaningful than these." (Thomas a Kempis)

"At the time of death, the priest should be called to pray for the dying person and to celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist in the form of Viaticum. The Roman Ritual contains a special section, Pastoral Care of the Dying (Part II of Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum), to direct the priest and the other faithful in assisting spiritually the dying person. The Roman Ritual indicates the distinct purpose of this special section: The ministry to the dying places emphasis on trust in the Lord's promise of eternal life rather than on the struggle against illness which is characteristic of the pastoral care of the sick. (Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, 1983 ed., No. 161) Care should be taken to call upon the ministry of the priest in a timely manner, not waiting until the moment of death. The greatest help to the dying person is the prayer of the Church and, most of all, the reception of the Holy Eucharist as Viaticum, the spiritual food for the journey from this life to the life which is to come. If the person has already died, the priest should also be called to offer the Church's prayers for the dead and to bless the body. (Cf. Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, Nos. 223-231)" (On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Bishop Raymond L. Burke/ La Crosse)

"I entrust you to God almighty, dearest brother, and commit you to Him who created you, that when death overtakes you and you pay the debt of mortal nature, you may return to your Maker who formed you out of the earth. As your soul departs from your body, may the shining cohorts of angels hasten to greet you, the tribunal of apostles acquit you, the triumphant ranks of white robed martyrs accompany you, the lily-bearing bands of glorious confessors surround you, the choir of virgins bring up your train with rejoicing, and in blest tranquilly may the patriarchs receive you into their loving embrace. May our Lord Jesus appear before you gentle and eager of countenance and assign you a place amid those who stand in His presence forevermore. May you never know the terror of darkness, hissing of flame, torment, or torture. May the foul fiend and all his minions reel back at your approach; as you advance encircled by angels, may he tremble and flee into the monstrous chaos of eternal night. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and they that hate him flee before his face. As smoke is driven away, so let them vanish, as wax melts before the fire, so let sinners perish before God (Ps. 67). Let the legions of hell then be filled with confusion and shame, and let not Satan's satellites presume to bar your course. May Christ who suffered for you rescue you from punishment; may Christ who was crucified for you deliver you from your cross; may Christ who deigned to die for you redeem you from death. May Christ he Son of the living God set you in His verdant paradise of everlasting delight, and may the true Shepherd recognize you as a sheep of His own flock. May He absolve you from all your sins and haply appoint you to sit at His right hand in the company of His elect. May you see your Redeemer face to face, and standing evermore in His presence, gaze upon Eternal Truth revealed in all its beauty to the eyes of the saints. Finally, may you take your place among the ranks of the blessed, and enter into the sweetness of the Beatific Vision for ever and ever. Amen." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Sickness / Illness | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Preparing For Death | Extreme Unction | Uncertain Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Death / Pain

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Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin

Also See: Death (Topic Page) | Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"He will not taste death forever who in his dying moments has recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary." (Pope Pius XI)

"Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us 'now and at the hour of our death'. Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory." (Pope John Paul II, 1999)

"And here Jesus teaches us how to die, for if He would have His Mother with Him in the hour of His great surrender, then how shall we dare to miss saying daily: 'Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.'?" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"If the graces which we receive from the treasury of redemption are distributed, so to speak, by the hands of the sorrowful Virgin, no one can deny that the grace of a happy death must come from Mary because, in fact, it is by means of this pre-eminent grace that the work of redemption reaches its fulfillment in every man. In the same way, the sorrowful Virgin was constituted by Jesus Christ has the Mother of all men, and as she has received them as a heritage from the infinite love of Jesus, she assumed with maternal love the duty of watching over their spiritual life - it is evident that she cannot do other than help most devotedly her dearest adopted sons at the hour at which it is necessary to secure them salvation and sanctity for all eternity." (Pope Benedict XV)

Also See: A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | The Moment of Death | Preparing For Death | Uncertain Moment of Death | Mary, Our Mother Section

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Praise of Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Death is the source of life!"

"Death opens up the way to true life" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[D]eath...disturbs not the peace of the just, but consummates it." (Liturgical Year)

"Blessed be God for our sister, the death of the body" (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Acceptance of Death | Longing For Death | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death of the Just | Death of the Wicked | Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | The Moment of Death | Preparing For Death

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Prayer For the Dead

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin." (2 Macc. 12:43-46)

"Day and night I am pursued by the same thought: One does not pray enough for the dead. Eighty thousand people die in this nation [France] every day." (Bl. Eugenie Smet)

"We must say many prayers for the souls of the faithful departed, for one must be so pure to enter heaven!" (St. John Vianney)

"Praying for the dead is an integral part of our Christian life; it is one of the spiritual works of mercy. Our prayer for the dead both honors their memory and expresses our faithful love as we assist them to be purified of any temporal punishment due to sin and to reach their final destiny and lasting home with God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us about the importance of prayer for the dead: From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic Sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. (No. 1032) Prayer should be encouraged for all the dead. Even though a person may have lived a most exemplary life from all appearances, no one knows the soul of the departed and the temptations which he or she may have suffered in life. Often enough, as we know from the lives of the saints, those who practice the greatest virtue also suffer the greatest temptations. It is a grave injustice to the dead to say that they do not need our prayers. Rather, we should continue to express our love for the faithful departed by our prayers for their eternal rest. (Cf. OCF, Nos. 6-7) The age-old custom of making an offering so that Mass may be celebrated for the eternal rest of the deceased is to be commended. The faithful who participate in the wake should be encouraged to make Mass offerings for the intention of the eternal rest of the deceased brother or sister. Offerings which are given for Masses for the deceased may not be used for any other purpose...In our time, for whatever reason, fewer Mass offerings are received at the time of death. The failure to have Masses offered for the dead is a failure of love for the deceased person. There is no more effective means to express our love and provide spiritual help for those who have died than to have the Mass offered for the eternal repose of their souls... November 2, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day), should be a special time to participate in the Mass for the Dead, praying for the eternal rest of one's deceased relatives, friends and fellow parishioners. Participation in the Mass on the anniversary of death is also to be encouraged. Prayers for the dead should be part of our daily prayer. The custom of praying for the dead at the end of each family meal is a most effective way of fulfilling our duty to pray for the dead. As mentioned above, visits to the graves or tombs of the dead to pray for their eternal rest should be a regular part of our Christian life." (On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Bishop Raymond L. Burke/ La Crosse)

Also See: Death is Not the End / Resurrection | Death & Those We Love | 'Purgatory Release Project' (Catholic Activities) | Prayer | Prayers & Devotions Section | Catholic Basics Section | Purgatory (Topical Scripture)

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Preparing For Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 24:44)

"Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 26:41)

"But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 13:32-37)

"You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 12:40)

"Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you." (Rv. 3:3)

"Do now - do now - what you'll wish you had done when your moment comes to die." (St. Angela Merici)

"Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out." (Thomas a Kempis)

"Since we are travelers and pilgrims in the world, let us ever ponder on the end of the road, that is of our life, for the end of our roadway is our home." (St. Columban)

Repent before it is to late: "If they repent, all who desire it will be able to obtain mercy from God." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 155 A.D.)

"The best way to prepare for death is to spend every day of life as though it were the last. Think of the end of worldly honor, wealth and pleasure and ask yourself: And then? And then?" (St. Philip Neri)

"Thy end is near, O my soul! How comes it thou art heedless? How is it, that thou art making no preparation? Time presses; arise! The Judge is near, even at the very gate. Life is passing away, as a dream" (Hymn of St. Andrew of Crete)

[Daily Prayer of Resignation: (to be said each day, even for healthy persons):] "Most sweet Jesus I accept the death Thou has destined for me; with all the pains that may accompany it; I unite it to Thy death, I offer it to Thee. Thou hast died for love of me, I will die for love of Thee and to please Thee." 

"So let us also, while we are still in this world, repent with our whole heart of the evil things we have done in the flesh, that we may be saved by the Lord while we have the time for repentance. For, after leaving the world, we cannot there confess or repent any more." (Attr. to Clement I, c. 2nd century A.D)

"For, to be brief, by repeating the same prayers [of the Rosary] we strenuously implore from Our Heavenly Father the Kingdom of His grace and glory; we again and again beseech the Virgin Mother to aid us sinners by her prayers, both during our whole life and especially at that last moment which is the stepping-stone to eternity." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fidentem Piumque Animum", 1896)

It is necessary to repent: "When once you have departed this life, there is no longer any place for repentance, no way of making satisfaction. Here life is either lost or kept. Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith, provision is made for eternal salvation. Let no one be kept back either by his sins or by his years from coming to obtain salvation. To him who still remains in this world there is no repentance that is too late." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 252 A.D.)

"Die we must: we have not only God's infallible word for it, but no reasonable man could ever entertain the thought that he was to be an exception to the rule. But if the fact of our death be certain, the day on which we are to die is also fixed. God, in His wisdom, has concealed the day from us; it becomes our duty not to be taken by surprise. This very night, it might be said to us, as it was to Ezechias: Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die. We ought to spend each day as though it were to be our last." (Gueranger)

"Since we know these things and are well aware of that terrible day and of that fire, and have in mind those terrible torments, let us turn aside at last from the path on which we have strayed. For the hour will come when the theater of this world will be dissolved, after which there will be no more contending for the prize, no more exertions to be made after the end of this life, no more crowns to be merited after the collapse of this theater. This is the time for repentance, that the time of judgment." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"The whole life of a Christian ought to be nothing else than a constant preparation for that tremendous hour which will decide our eternal lot, and in which the devil will assail us with the utmost effort of his fury; and our own weakness in mind and body, the lively remembrance of our past sins, and other alarming circumstances and difficulties, will make us stand in need of the strongest assistance of divine grace and the special patronage of her who is the protectress of all in distress, particularly of her devout clients in their last and most dangerous conflict." (Muller)

"Learn to die before you actually die, so that when death does come it will not be a horror to you but the gateway to life... Place Jesus' Passion and death between you and your future judgment and with steadfast gaze look upon the Crucified. If the devil tries to terrorize you, invoke the name of Jesus and raise the standard of the holy Cross. If he counters by narrating your many sins and past misdeeds, then respond by reciting the infinite merits of Christ. Also remember the seven words Jesus spoke from the Cross for your instruction... [W]hen you are about to depart this world, you are not to be remiss in voicing and frequently repeating the words of his final commendation ('Father, into your hands I commend my spirit'). You will find at the end that there are none more meaningful than these." (Thomas a Kempis)

Also See: Suffering & Death | Extreme Unction | Sacrament of Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick (Reflections) | Sacraments Section | Sickness / Illness | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Death / Pain | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | Fear of Death | The Moment of Death | Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin | Uncertain Moment of Death

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Traditional Teaching on Cremation

"Can. 1203 § 1 The bodies of the faithful departed shall be buried, their cremation being reprobated. § 2 If anyone by any manner orders that his body be cremated, it is illicit to execute that desire; and if this was added to any contract or testament or any other act it is considered as not being added." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

[Note: 1983 Code of Canon Law: "Can. 1176 §3 The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching."]

Also See: Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial | Cemeteries / Burial | Death is Not the End / Resurrection

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Uncertain Moment of Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Nothing is more certain than death, nothing more uncertain that its hour." (St. Anselm of Canterbury, Doctor of the Church)

"God has concealed from us the day of our death, that we may spend all our days well." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Still less should we try to know when we will die and in what place; whether it will be in the country or in the city; on horseback or at the foot of a mountain; or by some stone crushing us; or whether we will die in bed assisted by someone, or alone. What does it matter? Leave the care of it to divine providence, which looks after even the birds in the sky." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Or else; unknown to the master the thief breaks into the house, because while the spirit sleeps instead of guarding itself; death comes unexpectedly, and breaks into the dwelling place of our flesh. But he would resist the thief if he were watching, because being on his guard against the coming of the Judge, who secretly seizes his soul, he would by repentance go to meet Him, lest he should perish impenitent. But the last hour our Lord wishes to be unknown to us, in order as we cannot foresee it, we may be unceasingly preparing for it." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Fear of Death | Preparing For Death | The Moment of Death | How One Dies is How One Remains Forever | A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life

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