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James Myers wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was told by a Catholic that when a Catholic dies that a Mass must be said for that person soon after death to ease their passage into Heaven.

  • Is there any truth to this?

James Myers

  { When a Catholic dies, does a Mass have to be said for them to ease their passage into Heaven? }

Eric replied:

Hi, James —

It's more or less true.

We believe that for many people, probably most, a period of purification from attachment to sin and worldly things is necessary before one can enter Heaven (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

We call this state of cleansing Purgatory. Having a Mass offered for the individual can help expedite that process by applying the merits of Christ on the Cross to them. It's also a natural expression of love for the individual to pray for them (which is what we are doing when we have a Mass said for them).

It's not required but it is very helpful.

Eric

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