Does the Second Coming occur at death?


A priest at our parish in a recent homily said that Advent was a time to prepare ourselves to welcome Christ at his Second Coming which is the moment of our death.

Is the view of the priest consistent with Catholic teaching on the Second Coming? Do any Catholic theologians, councils, scholastics, saints, or early Church fathers offer anything to support the idea that the Second Coming refers to the death of the individual Catholic?


On the surface this does not sound like standard Catholic teaching. The Second Coming will be at the end of the world. It does not happen multiple times for each Catholic who dies.

However, a more nuanced reflection on your priest’s idea may still be in keeping with the Church’s teaching on the Parousia. Theologian Scott Hahn posits that each time the Eucharist is celebrated, it is a form of Parousia, a foretaste of the Second Coming. As Christ is really and truly present to us, He has indeed come again. Similarly, when we die and reach Heaven, Christ will be truly present to us as well, and it could be seen as a sort of second coming (although this is more tenuous, since Christ pulls us toward Him rather than Him coming to us).

One more possibility about what your priest meant: When we die, our souls leave the temporal plane, and time ceases to exist. We enter into eternity, and thus the “moment” we die will be the same “moment” that Christ returns to Earth at the end of the world.


It sounds as if the Priest is refering to the “particular judgment,” of each individual. I would say it is more a stressing of our final moments, and bringing to mind that Christ will come to judge us each individually at our death.

The church teach’s that this is true but “The Second Coming”, refers to the general Judgement to be passed on the assembled world at the “End of Time.”

General Judgement


Seems like when you die you are the one that goes to meet the Lord not the other way around.


[quote=tom.wineman]Seems like when you die you are the one that goes to meet the Lord not the other way around.

HMMM! Thats a thought. Sounds right to me…But then, I have not died yet so I can’t be sure. :wink:


maybe your priest mis-spoke, but the second coming of Christ is not at each person’s death. How many billion second comings would that then be.

the newadvent article on the general judgement is a good article. it is related to the subject of the gospel reading last sunday.

Another article on newadvent is on eschatology. It is here:

closed #7

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