40 days after death

40 days after death

Question from on 06-05-2007:

Fr. Trigilio,

Is this Russian Orthodox
website's belief about what happens 40 after death the same as our
Roman Catholic belief? If no, in what way is it different? Thanks.


Answer by Fr. John Trigilio on 06-07-2007:
It seems to be an attempt to modify the doctrine
of Purgatory in that the faithful are asked to pray for the deceased
soul for 40 days after death during which time they traverse the
natural and supernatural worlds, according to this Russian Orthodox
tradition. Catholic dogma is more clear. Particular Judgment occurs at
death. The soul goes to heaven, hell or purgatory. If heaven or hell,
there is no chance of leaving either, before or after 40 days since
death. Purgatory is not necessarily 40 days for everyone or anyone. It
may be hours, days, weeks, years, centuries, or millennia depending on
the individual person and the attachment to sin and temporal punishment
due to sin they accumulated during life. We do not say the soul wanders
the earth for 39 or 40 days. The soul is judged and goes directly to
heaven, hell or purgatory. They do not haunt houses, or walk the earth
as ghosts.

Technorati Tags: ,


  1. On Aug.7,2009 is 40 days of my boyfriend death..he is police died in basilan,ambush by abusayaf..just want to ask prayers for him for his soul as i do..Pls. Pray for him so that his soul enter surely in heaven..thank you very much!

  2. Peace to you, I'm sorry for your loss and the election mess. Today is 40 days after my father died of cancer and complications. Be strong for the next generation.

  3. September 29, 2009 will be the 40th day after my aunt passed away of Cancer and kidney failure. I would like to ask for prayers for her soul so that her soul goes to heaven. She was a loving, honest and pure person My God be with her.

    Thank you!
    Sept. 24, 2009

  4. On November 8th is my brother Tony's 40th day of passing. He was only 53 years old died suddenly of stroke brain aneurysm. He had a good heart for everyone. We will be missed terribly. Please pray for his soul's journey to heaven. Thank You.

  5. tomorrow is the 40th day after my father passed away after years of dialysis and I would like to ask for prayers for him...we do miss him and love him so much..

    Thank you

  6. today nov. 14, 2000 is rhe 40th day day after my husband died in a vehicular accident in saudi arabia please pray for his soul

  7. Today(Dec 21, 2009) is the 40th day after my beloved mother passed away because of liver problem. We would like to seek prayers for her soul and be with our Almighty God. We really misses her and we will love her forever... May God be with our mother always

  8. Today, August 23, 2010, is the 40th day after my beloved, 80-year old mother died. Thankfully, with the love and grace of our Almighty Father, my mother just closed her eyes after a good meal and took her last breath. Please pray for her departed soul and that she rest in peace and be in heaven. We miss her dearly. Thank you for your prayers.

  9. today is my Mom's 4O days. I miss her so bad. I wish I could still hold her and talk to her...

  10. Just a clarification, so forty days after death celebration or prayer is done because its the tradition.
    No other reason why it is done. Just tradition.

  11. As Catholic believers we do consider it as a tradition but if you go deeper into your faith, it is not only a tradition or a celebration. After 40 days, as I understood it, the soul leaves the earth and be with the Creator. The prayers, sacrifices of the living will help him find his path. Only true prayers with sacrifices...can make it happen. The celebration is called for to celebrate that he is now finally with our Almighty in heaven.
    The the thing is, this is not clear to most of the people today... where is the sacrifice if you ask somebody to pray for your dead and pay her for the services... and the celebration is so splurge as if telling everybody that were happy about his death.. Please please ... this time is the most needed time we can offer to our faithful departed and as living, let's make the most out of it.
    My husband will soon have his 40 days.. we offer novena masses, novena prayers at home with the family...This is also a way to accept that he does not belong to us anymore...