Artwork: Rogier van der Weyden. “The Last Judgment (detail)”.


Funerals are necessarily connected to suffering, grieving, dying, purgatory, redemption, the end of the world, and of course, the four last things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

Like many other topics on this website, these are impossibly broad. Each person faces the reality of death, so as long as humans have existed, they have grappled with this reality in Scriptural commentaries, fiction, theology, poetry, art, and works of meditation.

Below is a collection of resources on the four last things that hopefully reflect the long tradition and the diversity of Catholic thought.

Many more resources can be found at Fish Eaters, EWTN, the Catholic Portal, the Catholic News Archive, and e-Catholic 2000.


“The Last Things.” EWTN,

Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy.

St. Augustine of Hippo. On the Care of the Dead.

Baxter, Roger. Meditations for Every Day in the Year : Collected from Different Spiritual Writers. Georgetown, D.C. : J. Milligan, 1823.

Bernanos, G. Diary of a Country Priest. Plon, 1936.

Brett, Robert J. A Companion for the Sick Room; Being a Compendium of Christian Faith and Practice, Chiefly Compiled from the Writings of Divines of the Holy Catholic Church. 1843.

Catholic Church. “Article V: “He Descended into Hell, the Third Day He Arose Again from the Dead.” “. In Catechism of the Council of Trent, 50-57.

Gihr, Nikolaus, and Joseph J. Schmit. Dies Irae : The Sequence of the Mass for the Dead. St. Louis, Mo.; London: B. Herder, 1927.

Gueranger, Prosper. “November 1-Sunday after the Octave of All Saints.” In The Liturgical Year: The Time after Pentecost, 55-255, 1903.

———. “October 31: Vigil of All Saints.” In The Liturgical Year: The Time after Pentecost, 451-54, 1910.

Liguori, St. Alphonsus Of the Dolours of Mary.

Ratzinger, J. Eschatology: Death and the Eternal Life (Second Edition). Catholic University of America Press, 2007.

Schouppe, Reverend F. X., S.J. The Dogma of Hell, Illustrated by Facts Taken from Profane and Sacred History. New York: Hickey & Co., 1883.

Toner, Patrick. “Eschatology.” In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.

von Cochem, Father Martin, O.S.F.C. The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Hell and Heaven. Benziger Bros., 1899.