When a Loved One is Dying

Unlike non-believers who view the loss of loved ones with finality, despair, and fear, Catholics can accompany their dying relatives and friends with joyful hope as they end their life on Earth.

Death is part of every life but it is not the end for Catholics who, even though they may still grieve, can be comforted in the certain knowledge that God is with them and their loved ones.

The Church teaches that Jesus joined in human suffering and experienced death, before conquering it by his Resurrection so that He could be a guiding light, providing comfort, joy, and hope to those who have faith in Him.

Through their Baptism, Catholics join Jesus in his death and burial, and He promises that after their death, because of their Baptism and their belief in Him, they will be resurrected into new life with Him as well.

Knowing that Jesus’ Death and Resurrection benefits the whole world and that death no longer has power over them, faithful Catholics should not be afraid as their loved ones are dying.

For those who experience sorrow for the impending loss, the Church offers comfort and consolation, along with special prayers and rites to lovingly prepare their loved one for their death.

Death is not the end of the story:

Christ the King Productions

In the midst of loss, God is there:

Ascension Presents

Jesus offers hope in the face of death:

Eternal Rest

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

John 12: 24

Death is the place of power, resurrection, and new life:

Ascension Presents

Catholics should not fear the death of a loved one:

Breaking In The Habit

Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” “The saying is sure: if we have died with Him, we will also live with Him. What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already “died with Christ” sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ’s grace, physical death completes this “dying with Christ” and so completes our incorporation into Him in his redeeming act: It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the Earth. Him it is I seek – Who died for us. Him it is I desire – Who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth …. Let me receive pure light; when I shall have arrived there, then shall I be a man.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1010

Catholics pray for those who are dying:


Helping loved ones get ready to depart this life:

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Big questions at the end of life:

The Art of Dying Well

Christ, having crossed the threshold of death, has revealed the life which lies beyond this frontier, in that uncharted “territory” which is eternity. He is the first witness of eternal life; in Him human hope is shown to be filled with immortality. “The sadness of death gives way to the bright promise of immortality”. These words, which the Church’s Liturgy offers as a consolation to believers as they bid farewell to their loved ones, are followed by a proclamation of hope: “Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in Heaven”. In Christ, death — tragic and disconcerting as it is — is redeemed and transformed; it is even revealed as a “sister” who leads us to the arms of our Father.

Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Elderly, 1 October 1999

Alive in the Lord until we meet again:

Catholic Cemeteries & Funeral Services – Toronto

Death can lead to both hope and sadness:

Godsplaining | Catholic Podcast

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