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What happens when we die?

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Presentation on theme: "What happens when we die?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What happens when we die?
Comparing Catholicism and Buddhism

2 Life after death: Almost all religions teach that a person's personality continues after death.
In fact, many religious historians believe that this belief was the prime reason that motivated people to originally create religions. Christianity and Buddhism are no exception. However, they conceive of life after death in very different forms:

3 How do Buddhist and Christian beliefs
on life after death compare?

4 Buddhism teaches that humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.
One's goal is to escape from this cycle and reach Nirvana. Once this is attained, the mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. Suffering ends because desire and craving -- the causes of suffering -- are no more.

5 Christianity teaches that everyone has only a single life on earth.
After death, an eternal life awaits everyone: either in Heaven or Hell. There is no suffering in Heaven; only joy. For the inhabitants of Hell, suffering the absence of God is eternal without any hope of cessation.

6 How do Catholic and Buddhist death rituals compare?

7 The ways in which religious people deal with death and the funeral rites they carry out are linked with their beliefs about life after death. Both Catholic and Buddhist death rites: Have priests and monks offer comfort to the dying. Show respect and remembrance for the deceased in their funerals. Include symbolic rituals to ensure that people go on to whatever their next life will be. Give the relatives and friends of the deceased time to mourn. People often say that showing their grief formally helps them to get over their loss.

8 Symbolic rituals Catholic In Requiem Mass at church the Eucharist remembers Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Belief in his divinity is basis for hope of afterlife and all songs and prayers continue this theme. Treatment of the coffin with Easter candle, white cloth and water refers to Baptism/new life in their symbolism. Burial rather than cremation reflects traditional belief in bodily resurrection at the end of time (From Book of Revelation). Buddhist Rituals to ensure spirits go on to their next life: not disturbing body first few hours and praying for 49 days. Temple funeral’s symbolic prayers, incense and flowers emphasise reincarnation theme. Cremation follows Buddha’s practice and reflects belief in reincarnation.

9 Catholic Resurrection theme versus Buddhist Reincarnation theme.
Rituals used in Catholic and Buddhist funerals are similar in that they both use symbolism. But the different beliefs about the afterlife lead to different meanings for the symbols Catholic Resurrection theme versus Buddhist Reincarnation theme. The pain of grief is universal and both Catholics and Buddhists are comforted by other rituals performed on behalf of their loved ones which also help them through the grief cycle.

10 Coping with grief Catholic Buddhist
Sacraments of anointing of the sick and reconciliation aids peaceful death for the suffering and consoles their family. Vigil at home is informal chance for community to support the grieving and praying the rosary is an opportunity for the living to pray for the dead. Formally showing grief in a funeral can help with loss if it is a positive experience preparing for, and participating in the rituals Buddhist Dying at home with scriptures being chanted helps for a peaceful death for the suffering and consoles their family. Merit can be gained for the dead by the living making offerings to monks eg food and candles. As the ritual burning of incense reminds them, death is only temporary and not to be feared.

11 How do Catholic and Buddhist beliefs about what happens after death connect with how they live their lives on earth? They both have beliefs in an afterlife which suggests that: There are consequences to our earthly lives. As humans with freewill we can make moral choices . We want to be rewarded, not punished and both religions give guidelines as to what is the right way to live.

12 If we are believers seeking Heaven or Nirvana:
Our lifestyle will be based on ethics. We follow rules like the Christian ‘Greatest Commandment’ and the Buddhist ‘First Precept’ . Some find support living in a community of believers such as a Catholic religious order or the Sangha (Buddhist monks). Prayer and meditation will add to our faith and spirituality.

13 What happens when we die?
Concepts which apply to both Catholics and Buddhists Religion Catholics and Buddhists have beliefs about the soul and afterlife based on the lives and teachings of the founders of their faith. Death rituals are performed to honour the deceased and to express religious beliefs about the afterlife. Beliefs about the afterlife suggest that there are consequences to the way we lead our lives . Ethics encourage us to do what’s right rather than what’s wrong. Grief Our human awareness of our mortality means that we seek meaning and purpose to our existence and that we can lead our lives, not just live them. When we respond to loss we share common patterns of grief. Our spirituality can be a support when facing the mystery of death and provide rituals which help us cope with grief.

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