What does the Church say about death?

What does the church say about death

The Christian understanding of life and death sees them as inseparable, as indivisible. 

As St Augustine of Hippo wrote: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

There is a natural longing in each human for a life that is purposeful and worthwhile; a longing in each human heart for peace, companionship, love and happiness. This is a longing to discover the ultimate meaning of life, to know the love of God, and a destiny beyond the limit or horizon of death.

On one hand, in natural terms, death is a frightening mystery. We are stripped of all our current attachments; we leave our bodies, and our eternal soul goes to meet the Lord. On the other hand, Christians who have faith can approach death with peace and trust. There is a longing to be, as Augustine says, ‘at home’ with the Lord.

For further information on Catholic Church traditions for death and dying please contact your local Catholic Church. Details for your local church can be found on the internet.

Alternatively you can contact Grief Care.

Further reading

Additional Living Well Dying Well resources to help you support someone in your network who is facing death.

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