Is there a tradition regarding whether the Pope is embalmed before or after his viewing?
[quote=Slow Burn]Is there a tradition regarding whether the Pope is embalmed before or after his viewing?
None that I am aware of. Usually such a decision is made on a case-by-case basis and is certainly not required for the proper disposition of a pope’s body. For example, John XXIII was fully embalmed, which meant that when his casket was opened during the beatification process, his remains were found to be nearly immaculately preserved. Paul VI, on the other hand, was only lightly embalmed in order to preserve the body during the summer heat of Rome during the days of viewing. Apparently, if media reports are to be trusted, John Paul II was not embalmed at all.