Sudden death


Hi, I wonder what’s your opinion about what’s going to happen with our soul if we are suddenly killed (e.g. because of plane crash) before we have the chance to confess our sins, especially grave sins?


Depends, I suppose, on one’s intent. If one intends to confess (i.e.receive the sacrament of Reconciliation) and is killed beforehand, and is truly sorry and repents of their sin, I would think God would take that into consideration.

If, on the other hand, one is in the state of Mortal sin and isn’t sorry and doesn’t intend to receive the sacrament…well…let’s say dying unrepentant isn’t a good idea. :eek:


I think Newbie2 is right on. I would add that most people die the way they live. We don’t want to rely on a deathbed conversion as our backup plan, especially since we do not know if we may be taken suddenly.

From the Catechism:

CCC 1033: To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

That’s why it’s so important to pray that we do not have a sudden death.

CCC 1014: The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the ancient litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: “From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord”; to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us “at the hour of our death” in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.

Of course, God alone is the Judge and we do not know for sure the state of any person’s soul at the moment of death. So we pray for those people and entrust them to the mercy of God.


:slight_smile: also our Lord told to be watchful being ready for Him when He comes again to the living and the dead. we are all judged immediately after death so His words apply in our every day living as well.if one is not ready to taken up when He comes again how can the same be ready to meet the Judge when one dies suddenly.


I think if one is sorry for their sins and has the intention of going to confession as soon as possible, then I think you should be okay. But I try to leave this up to God.


If a person has repented of his grave sins and is sorry for them out of a love for God, he will be saved. This is called perfect contrition, when a person is sorry because he has offended God.

Imperfect contrition, sometimes referred to as attrition, is when a person is sorry for his sins because he is afraidd of going to Hell, and only for that reason. This is not sufficient to be saved apart from the Sacrament.

Note that perfect contrition does not mean there is no fear of hell present; the person might be afraid, too. It just means that there is present a sorrow for having offended God as opposed to merely being afraid.

A perfectly contrite person is still bound to confess his sins as soon as possible, and of course, ought to anyhow, because I wouldn’t want to just assume I had correctly identified what sort of contrition I had. :slight_smile:

Peace and God bless


This is why I always say a good and full Act of Contrition (silently, of course) before take off. :smiley:



I don’t know what the act of contrition is (I’m presbyterian), but I always silently confess my sins and say the Ave Maria (yeah, I know it in Latin–too much late night EWTN I guess)as the plane is rolling down the runway. Its comforting. Roanoker


Here is an example:

O my God,
I am heartily sorry for
having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven,
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because
they offend Thee, my God,
Who are all good and
deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace,
to confess my sins,
to do penance,
and to amend my life. Amen.



if I die with unconfessed mortal sins for which I am not sorry and have no intention of repentence I will surely be condemned to hell. If I die with unconfessed mortal sin for which I am sorry, have repented and intend to stop, I will be given the chance, as every soul is at the moment of death, to express that contrition and be saved.


It appears that until recent times people regularly prayed to be spared sudden death. One should be prepared for it, but should pray for taht it not come.


Yea I agree, good point.


Exactly! It seems too many people today actually pray for the opposite! We want to be taken unaware in the middle of the night because we’re so terrified of seeing death coming.

In reality, being able to know that we are near death is a great blessing. It allows us to spiritually prepare (as well as get our affairs in order).


I am curious, what if a Catechumen dies before the easter vigil baptism? What about burial of catachumens?


They are entitled to a Catholic funeral and burial.


The Church recognizes something know as “baptism of desire.” As long as the person was sincere, all is well.


I do not believe that EVERYONE who has committed a mortal sin goes straight to hell in the event of sudden death. I believe it’s up to God. I think if the person does not want to go to hell and wishes to confess their sins, they will be allowed to. But if they want to go to hell and refuse to confess their sins, they will go to hell.


It is possible that I am wrong, but I believe this is not inconsistent with Catholic teaching.


It sounds alright to me.


I grant the possibility of this for others, but don’t want to bet on it for my self. :wink:

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