I guess it is a bit ironic that I am putting something about death on the Family Life section of the Catholic Living forum. Well anyways I had a question about burials. Since there is the resurrection of the body, what should we do about our bodies after we have died. Should embalming be used? Should an above ground tomb or mausoleum be used. Since we are going to have our bodies shouldn’t we leave them in good condition. I know God created it the first time so He can do it again, but if we are at all able to not die in a way that destroys the body, such as fire, should we preserve our body for the resurrection. I would figure it would be good to put it in a mausoleum where it won’t be destroyed by the elements.


God created us from dust, he can resurrect us from dust, or ashes. Burial, with or without embalming according to local custom or law is preferred, in the ground or in a mausoleum, but cremation is permitted for good prudent reason, if there is no intent to deny the doctrine of the resurrection. even a body with the most scientific embalming and kept sealed in an airtight temp controlled vault will decay eventually, unless the Lord grants signs of sanctity by preserving the body, as is the case with some (not all) saints.


Puzzleannie hit this on the head. It does not matter how you are buried (in ground, above ground, metal casket, wood, cremation) as long as it is done according to the norms of the Church. Your body will not be needed until the second coming at the end of time.

In case you may be worried, think of Lazarus rotting in the tomb for 3 days until the Lord resurrected him. Think of all the Christians who have died during the last 2,000 years and were torn to pieces, lost at sea, entombed by earthquakes or buried in mass graves. If we believe God created everything (angels, universe, galaxies, stars, planets, land, ocean, bacteria, reptiles, us) then I trust in him with my (hopefully I pray) resurrected body.

Have a Blessed Easter.


weird thought alert

I figure that if it were important for every one of the molecules we had at the time our death to be to be present at the resurrection then some of us might be sharing them.

It is important for the living that our bodies be respectfully buried or otherwise laid to rest in anticipation of the resurrection. But our bodies can be restored by God inspite of the way they are ‘disposed of’ or what happens to them afterwards.


Well, if you want to have a weird thought…so will I:rolleyes:

Consider that some of those atoms won’t exist in their present state by the time the resurrection occurs. Since there are atoms of Potassium-40 in your body, a number of those will decay into Argon-40 by the time your body is resurrected. Which means that the molecule present in your body containing Potassium was broken apart by the radioactive decay, and the Argon likely dissipated into the atmosphere. Not to mention the Potassium reacted with another molecule present in your body to form a new molecule.

So if you really want to have the same molecules, the radioactive decay would have to be reversed AND the other consituents of the molecule would have to be re-united with it:)

Ok, I’m done with my smart aleck response:cool:


As I recall, none of the molecules present in your body seven years ago are there today. :smiley:


Hey, I’m supposed to be taking a break from chemistry class on Easter! Not fair! :wink:


True while you are alive, not true when you die.

Hence how Carbon dating works for dating dinosaur bones and mummies: While we are alive, we continually take in Carbon-12 and keep it at a constant level because we are continually replacing the decaying Carbon-12. When we die, that stops and the quantity starts to decline at a known rate based on it’s half-life. By measuring the remaining Carbon-12, we can figure out how old the whatever is.

In response to the OP question, remember Jesus’s words: “nothing is impossible for God.” It’s our soul that matters, not the molecules the body is made out of. Our soul is constant. Our body (made out of whatever molecules the Lord chooses) will be just like the one we have now and share in our eternity (irregardless of which one we go to).

In response to puzzleannie, you made me wonder if the radioactive decay is happening in the bodies of the preserved saints. I would have to think that the Lord stops is so that the body is truely preserved. Oh well, just something I’ll never know…lol.

In response to masondoggy, sorry!



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