Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington

Resources for Families

End of Life Issues

The human body is a gift, given by God, created by God, and destined for an eternal glorified future in Christ (CCC 364).

For baptized Christians, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the instrument through which we offer and receive divine life and love (CCC 2519).

In his Theology of the Body, Saint John Paul II called upon the faithful to approach the body in this truth and “rediscover the law of the gift”—God’s gift that has been entrusted in love to another (Sign of Contradiction, P. 58).

The law of the gift guides the Church’s teachings on the dignity of every person, especially those who are frail, sick, vulnerable and dying.

Cardinal Wuerl and the Archdiocese of Washington offer thoughtful reflections and pastoral guidelines on the treatment of each unique human person as earthly life ends.