In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys discuss death, Catholic funerals, cremations, and how to die well.
In this episode, we will discuss:
• What happens during the Last Rites?
• Can Catholics be cremated?
• What you need to know about Catholic funerals
• Catholic prayers over the bodies of the dead
• Why priests need to start wearing Black Vestments again
• The lost tradition of the Month’s Mind Mass
• and much more
• Exodus 90
• Ave Maria University
5 comments on Death & The Catholic Church
The grace of a “happy death” was allowed for my mother. She prayed to the Blessed Mother her entire life and one of her prayer petitions for her loved ones, and for herself, was a happy death meaning little pain and that she was ready to call it quits and go to God when He called her. As we know not everyone gets a happy death. I often wonder about those in excruciating pain who beg God to release them with death yet they linger on. Why doesn’t God answer their prayer? Or, are they at the last moment of each prayer backing away from death?
I don’t meditate on my death but mostly on special intentions for those who are known to be nearing death or who are in poor health. The few non-Catholics I know always ask that if Heaven is such a reward why do some Catholics fight so hard to stay alive? If Heaven is so wonderful why aren’t you forming a line or rushing to get there? I always love that question. I take it apart as far as the hold the physical world has on us with its emotional obligations to others. Not to mention our own enjoyment in this life. What we are saying is when we are ready God but God will tell us when He is ready. No-one knows their expiration date.
I want to be cremated speaking personally, and after my funeral Mass have the ashes buried in the family cemetery. Death is a process and our last perseverance. People are still doing the month’s mind Mass plus the first annual anniversary Mass – at least Catholics I know are doing this still. My family and extended family, and friends who have always been devout Catholics.
I don’t visit the graves of my loved ones often because the soul is not there and won’t be until the Resurrection but many cultures bring a feast to the graves of their loved ones at certain times of the year or on the anniversary of the death. I never attended the funeral of my father as I was considered to be too young at 10, and my mother was broken into emotional pieces. I never felt left out because the wake was horrible enough in itself. I couldn’t take the leap of faith beyond the physical loss of a loving dad. That is the first impact, the loss of the physical presence, and there are 7 steps to mourning. Meanwhile you are trying to pray for the soul or something you can’t see or touch.
I agree RD that this podcast is preparation and validation and a reminder of the final sacraments and rites. Later on when I was an adult losing people I loved I became familiar with the last rites and the prayers at the death of loved ones because we had a wonderful family friend who was a priest. He would explain what was going on. He was mercy and compassion wrapped up in one man who loved his priestly vocation. He died last year and the world is a bit sadder without him. He was probably one of the most loving people I ever met.
Since I am aging I get a little less afraid of death. No-one is ever alone when they die. God is there. Our Guardian Angel is there. If we are lucky enough we will have a priest for our last rites. We leave the physical world and its inhabitants behind and take our journey into eternity with a pit stop at Purgatory.
The priests and nuns taught me at a young age to be always prepared for death by having my soul in a state of grace. What happens to those who die without the last rites or sacrament of penance even though they are repentant of their mortal sins? Do they get to go to Purgatory?
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
Thank you for a good show that offers knowledge, comfort and peace and reminds us that despite what Agatha Christie wrote, ‘Death does not come at the end’.
Stay safe, and stay healthy
Thank you so much for this podcast. It has answered my questions about proper catholic funerals. Can’t wait for your visit to Dhanis , Texas again. Hope to see you soon!
Father, would you be able to post the resources that were developed for funeral preparation that you talked about?
Ryan S – totally agree that a funeral mass is such an important mass to pay attention to. I love attending funeral masses and helping the deceased be welcomed into heaven. When our mom passed away, we welcomed her into church with the Litany of Saints. A beautiful way to incorporate this life with heaven.
Thank you! I’m now more informed about making my wishes known through my will and pre-arrangements.