I have this pet peeve. Almost daily, when I read the obituaries in the paper, there is invariably an obit that says something to the effect of:

Joe Doe went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on February 30th…blah, blah, blah…

I have always found this to be incredibly arrogant and presumptious.

Maybe I have it wrong, but don’t we still believe in Judgement?

We go to Church, believe in Christ, do good works, etc…but does that GUARANTEE a place in Heaven?

I’m not about to stand before God, and DECLARE that (by whatever reasoning) that I am IN.

Isn’t that His call? At least for Catholics? :shrug:


Yes, at least Catholic obituaries should say John Doe, passed away on 2/18/2008 and entered into the presence of the Lord…or something to that effect.

We do enter into God’s presence at the moment of out death for the particular judgement.


I think you are right. But since Funeral Directors continue to use such nonsense in death notices, maybe we should impose on them a “fairness doctrine.”

Doe, John. Mr. Doe, a truly rotten SOB, passed from this life on February 20, 2009 and has now crossed over the River Styx into Hades where he surely belongs



Ah, interesting. I fully see your point. Most of the ones I see, though, are the more “Faith Alone” types, that pretty much proclaim that they have gone to heaven.



Some say that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over reason. Maybe the papers are using the same reporter to write the obits that writes the wedding announcements ?? :slight_smile:


When my parents passed away I wrote the obituary for each of them, and it printed exactly as I wrote it. The funeral directors had nothing to do with it.


When our daughter died we were in the midst of grieving, but we wrote her obituary. However, it has been my experience that not everyone is willing (or capable) of doing that during such a time.

Ironically, it is often during such times that we are reminded of our own mortality and think about what actually happens when we die. (And for some, the thought is so scary/unbearable, they would rather simply believe (read “wish”) that one goes to heaven. The thought of going anywhere else is too much to ponder.)



Posted by Br. Rich SFO

When my parents passed away I wrote the obituary for each of them, and it printed exactly as I wrote it. The funeral directors had nothing to do with it.
Reply With Quote

Yeah, they’ll allow you to write the obit. Most people don’t do that, however. They are too preoccupied with other circumstances not the least of which is the passing of a loved one. I ought to know. Through college I held an administrative job at a funeral home, and I frequently had to compose death notices. Mine were direct and forthright, or at least I think so.


Over here you often see “x passed away fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church” or similar words to indicate their catholicism.


To paidion:

I am truly sorry to hear of the passing of your daughter. I will add her as well as your entire family to the list of people I pray for daily. My heart goes out to you.


The exception for Catholic obituaries would be those for a young child who has been baptized but not reached the age of reason. The child would be with his Lord and Saviour.


Thank you for your prayers. She died seven years ago (almost to the day).



newspaper editors don’t write obits, they take what the funeral director sends, and that usually comes from the family and the fd helps them put it in order and accepted style. exception would be obit of a public figure, which is a bio kept on file and updated.


I read this daily in our local paper and yes it is presumptious and very arrogant. But then again look where I live:rolleyes: .
I do prefer the term, passed away rather then “died” or worse “expired” (like old milk) but as someone said eariler, only a Baptized child under the age of reason is taken right up to Heaven to be with God, to simply assume otherwise is being arrogant.


It does not surprise me that orbits are written that way because at most funerals I have been at, the priest says the same thing.


My mother was a high school Latin & English teacher for over 30 years…When she died, after years of retirement in failing health, it happened to be, she died on the first day of school that fall…
I began the obituary, “[Mother’s name] graduated into eternal life”…
One of her former students said how perfect that was for her…(I take no credit for it; it was one of those things that just “come to you”)…


That is an excellent obituary! There is nothing wrong with it by Catholic standards, either, because everyone does have eternal life after death. We just cannot presume where that eternal life will be.


Today, I attended a funeral for a teenager who died in a tragic accident. Please pray for him. He is a very special young man that will be missed by all who knew him. He had a smile and demeanor that gave you a glimpse of Christ.

His obituary I thought was very beautiful. It said he “passed into God’s hands.” What struck me about its beauty was its trust in Divine Mercy. Despite what I’m sure was great hope and confidence, they just made a statement of trust.

But, don’t be too hard on those families who speak with hyperbole. They are grieving and hurting. When I read what might be presumptious, you can also see it as a prayer of petition.


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