The End of Life


Key Words

  • Committal
  • Day of Judgement
  • Eulogy
  • Funeral
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Purgatory
  • Judge
  • Redemption
  • Salvation 
  • Soul
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Body and Soul

  • Soul --> the non-physical part of a person
  • Body --> the physical part of a person
  • Christianity teaches that all humans have an immortal soul, it lives on and goes with them to heaven when the physical body of a person dies
  • They believe the soul is the 'breath of life which God gave to Adam
  • When Eve picked the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, original sin was introduced to the world
  • ^The way in which humans are born with a lack of holiness about them- different to sins people actually commit themselves
  • ^Cleansed when someone is baptised
  • The crucifixion of Jesus is a very important teaching- God in human form (part of the Trinity). When Jesus died and was resurrected 3 days later, he atoned for the origninal sin of Adam and Eve and overcame the power of death
  • ^Humans were forgiven their sins because of this. Jesus' death cleansed humanity so people's immortal souls were now able to survive death and reach heaven
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Funeral Rites

  • Christian is dying --> Christian minister will try to visit to help them prepare for their death. The person may wish to confess their sinsRoman Catholics- receive a sacrament-Anointing of the Sick
  • ^Anointed with the Oil of Unction, consecrated every year by a bishop at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday
  • Funeral services usually take place in a church and then the body is buried or cremated
  • The opening of the funeral service is usually the reading of a passage from John:
    'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die'
  • Some Christians may have a Requeim Mass
  • Churches are often decorated with white flowers-represent new life with God which the person is now entering
  • Body finally laid to rest the priest or minister will say: 'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust'
  • Candles are lit- reminder that Christians are saved because Jesus was the 'Light of the World'. The rising smoke is said to represent the soul or prayers to the soul rising to heaven
  • gravestone is placed at the sight later. It contains details of the person's life and often a prayer or Bible quotation. To reinforce their beliefs that the person is now with God and not forgotten, people may put flowers on the grave during special occassions e.g. birthdays
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