book of life

what is the book of life ,and why is it signed at a memorial sevice?

I’ve never heard of a “book of life” that was signed at a memorial service. (And I’ve been to quite a few services.)
Now my curiosity is peaked also. Hope someone on the CAF knows what it’s about.

Never heard of it.

I’ve been to memorial services where I’ve signed a guest register. If only it were that easy to get into the book of life :shrug:

According to protestants it is.

In our parish we have a book that has the names of our deceased parishoners and their obituaries, so that anyone can can look through it if they want to. But it is not called the Book of Life, it’s just a memorial book.

Why do you paint with such a broad brush?
I don’t think that it’s that easy to get into Heaven. (Edited)

I thought I was just being cute, I’m sorry if you didn’t like it. But on a personal note I was a protestant, for a long time. I have been to many churches, and I have never visited a portestent church that didn’t teach “faith by grace” or a belief that you prayed a prayer where it is believed that at that moment you gave your heart to God, and at that moment you are written into the lambs book of life and that it can not be stripped away from you.
I went to many bible studies, from many different denominations of the protestant faiths, and they not only all taught this principle, but pushed it.
If I’m not mistaken it is one of the largest differances between the two faiths and one of the reasons Martin Luthor broke from the church.(Edited)

Was this a Catholic service? Who signed it?


This was a Catholic service and the son of the deceased was the only one to sign the book. He was a only child . So I do not know if any other members of the family could have signed it or what was written in the heading…I was only told it was the Book of Life and not the meaning behind it. Thanks for you’re help !!!:

When my wife died I was asked during the funeral mass to sign the memorial book on the altar. A protestant who was her best friend, came up to me and told me that she was keeping her poise until I signed “the book” then she burst into tears when I signed her into the “Catholic Book of Life”.

I explained that it was a memorial book - not God’s Book of Life. Catholic record the names of all deceased into the parish memorial that is available for all in the parish to pray for and especially remember during special feast days like “All Souls Day” and each mass where in the liturgy we ask God to remember all the faithful departed.

God’s Book of Life is already written and is part of Divine Plan. We are simply waiting for God to reveal all who are written in The Book of Life. After the last of the elect is born and completes his or her part of Divine Plan Jesus comes to give the final word on all of history and end death. This sounds like predestiny - and it is. But its what we call single predestiny where God know all who are to be “the elect” before they are even born but each and every created soul through free choice elects to be or not be in The Book of Life as an expression of freewill. God gives all the grace necessary to be in The Book of Life. All we have to do is choose to be there and to persevere till the end. One is blotted out of the Book of Life only by personal choice since God’s Divine Plan is written with the foreknowledge how each of us will personally choose.


Thank- you for explaining that to me… Now it makes sense to me. ird:)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit