Is the funeral or dead body that important?


#1

Sometimes when I read (Matthew 8:21-22) I think once someone is dead, we should just get the body to the nearest grave in any condition because it will break down anyway by the bacteria and becomes of no value, the most important aspect was the soul which gone to GOD.

Any thoughts?


#2

[quote="Sam_777, post:1, topic:302558"]
Sometimes when I read (Matthew 8:21-22) I think once someone is dead, we should just get the body to the nearest grave in any condition because it will break down anyway by the bacteria and becomes of no value, the most important aspect was the soul which gone to GOD.

Any thoughts?

[/quote]

The dead body was once a human being, and as such, an "imago Dei".

The dead human body is therefore to be treated with reverence, with allowance for physical conditions (cremation etc are allowable in epidemics, etc).

It is Church teaching that that person will somehow live again; therefore it is important to pray over the body.

Other than that, I agree that some of the modern death culture is excessive (viewings lasting for days, mountains of flowers, etc). But that is up to the families involved.

ICXC NIKA


#3

I'm not sure about this "modern death culture" you speak of. Out here, most people opt for either a quick cremation with a private gathering, a "Celebration of Life," or no service at all. Many Catholics opt for these, or wholly-inappropriate and disrespectful pagan traditions like scattering ashes.

The purpose of the Catholic funeral is not to remember the life of the deceased, but to pray for their living soul. A Celebration of Life (the concept was originally popularized by atheists and agnostics) does not do this.


#4

The body is important, we believe in The Resurrection. If the body is not important, why did God have to take on our flesh? Makes no sense for God to take on something that is unimportant. Our whole being is body and soul, it is one. Even when they separate, they are still two parts of the one whole person. The respect towards the bodies we give is an outward sign of our belief and hope in the Resurrection that Our Lord will bring at the end of ages.


#5

Umm–yeah. Respect for the body of a dead person IS important, because at the Resurrection, we get 'em back (but glorified, in better condition, and with abilities we don’t have in this life. And in my case, I hope younger looking and a few pounds lighter, and with hair my own color instead of out of a bottle–LOL!)

Also, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit in this life. Desecrating a dead body would be akin to desecrating a church, in other words.

When a body is completely destroyed (e.g., explosion, nuclear war) God CAN reassemble a new body at the Resurrection that would be that person’s body, but we’re not supposed to be doing anything other than treating a body with respect. This does not preclude burial, cremation, or the donation of organs, but all of these must be done consistent with Church teachings.


#6

When a loved one dies the family need to gather, to celebrate the God-given life of the deceased person, and to pray for the person's soul. The Christian funeral places the family focus upon God and our true destiny, not simply the loss of a loved family member or friend.

The celebration of a loved one's life at a funeral provides a beginning for the family's recovery. Having celebrated the lives of many loved ones who have died, I know the family sense of community and loving family support at the funeral and at the subsequent family gathering. They are 'life-giving' occasions of tears, laughter and shared experiences.


#7

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