A colleague at work is a cradle Catholic whose grandmother is widowed. The grandmother told my friend that she cannot remarry since she wants to be with her husband in heaven. My friend thought the Church forbids remarriage even after the death of a spouse – I told her that I was unaware of any such “teaching.” As far as I know, once a spouse dies the survivor is free to remarry. Which of us is right?
[quote=Mark N.]Which of us is right?
You are. If you need scriptural evidence, show your friend Matthew 22:23-30:
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her.” But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
Marriage is an institution created for this life only, its purposes being the sanctification of the spouses and the rearing of children for heaven. When one of the spouses dies, the marriage ends, and the survivor is free to marry again. Be sure to let your friend know, however, that this does not mean that her grandmother will not meet her deceased husband again in heaven and enjoy with him a special relationship of which we cannot fathom in this life. For information on that, see the link below.