Why it’s relevant today

Why it’s relevant today

The underlying ethos of the art of dying well applies just as well to anyone of any, or no faith, undergoing the final journey. All of us will fall, all of us will need help, and all of us can use the experience we gain in helping people on the climb creatively for the good of others.

Help on the final journey

The slope that we all  have to climb is still the same slope, and although we might not  fall in the  same places as did our ancestors, we will certainly fall along the way.

For example, modern  medicine might have alleviated the severity of the pain we  experience in many  cases, but the same climb probably takes much longer, as  medicine prolongs the  lifespan of those in the process of dying.

The Christian tradition

In the Christian  tradition, we would describe the slope that those who are dying have  to climb  as their own Mount Calvary, their version of the journey Jesus took to his  death.

We believe that we all  have our own Calvary to climb, and just as Christ fell on his  Calvary, so we  too will fall on ours. As Christ was helped along the way by those  who loved  him and by compassionate strangers, so it should be for us. As Christ  offered  his experience of Calvary for us, so we too can offer our Calvary for others.

All of us need help

All of this plays an  important part in the Catholic understanding of  Ars Moriendi. But  the underlying features apply just as well to anyone of any or no faith  undertaking  that same climb. All of us will fall, all of us will need help, and  all of us can use the  experience we gain in helping people on the climb  creatively for the good of others.

Our ‘manual’ for the art  of dying well is illustrated with filmed and audio testimony  from those who  have made, or are making, the same journey. It uses music, stories,  poetry and  of course prayers and spiritual reflections, and it provides what we hope  will  be useful information.

Ongoing support

Ours is an open-ended  manual. Being a website, the Art of Dying Well has unlimited room to expand  and add layer upon  layer of material to support those who visit the site for help.

“Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you,
go forth, faithful Christian.
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints.

The Art of Dying Well