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Catechism in a Year

Friday, November 09, 2018

354. What is the relationship between the sacraments and the death of a Christian?

The Christian who dies in Christ reaches at the end of his earthly existence the fulfillment of that new life which was begun in Baptism, strengthened in Confirmation, and nourished in the Eucharist, the foretaste of the heavenly banquet. The meaning of the death of a Christian becomes clear in the light of the death and Resurrection of Christ our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus goes "away from the body to be a home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Further reading: CCC 1680-1683

355. What do funeral rites express?

Although celebrated in different rites in keeping with the situations and traditions of various regions, funerals express the paschal character of Christian death in hope of the resurrection. They also manifest the meaning of communion with the departed particularly through prayer for the purification of their souls.

Further reading: CCC 1684-1685

356. What are the main moments in funerals?

Usually, funeral rites consist of four principal parts: welcoming the body of the deceased by the community with words of comfort and hope, the liturgy of the Word, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and the farewell in which the soul of the departed is entrusted to God, the Source of eternal life, while the body is buried in the hope of the resurrection.

Further reading: CCC 1686-1690

These excerpts are from the Compendium of the CCC
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