The following comes from a Dec. 19 story on TheFederalist.com by Chad Bird.
As if there’s not enough decisions to make in life, these days we’re even forced to make choices about what happens to us after we’re dead. If you’d like to go out with a bang, you can be cremated and have your ashes stuffed into fireworks so your family can ooh and aah as you’re blown into colorful smithereens in the night sky. Or your dressed and upright corpse, a stiff drink in hand, can be the life of the party as your friends gather round to drink and dance your demise away. Or, if you’re not really on the wild side, there’s always doctors and scientists eager for another cadaver. Hell, you might even go retro and be laid to rest in a coffin.
Alas, but even then, there are decisions to be made. You might opt for a funeral home with a drive-through window so the mourners—after they’ve grabbed a burger and fries down the street—can roll down their window, leave the A/C running, and take a quick gander at your remains as they dab their eyes with a McDonald’s napkin. Or if you make people actually get out of their cars and go into a church for a service, you need to decide if you want to have a Celebration of Life service or stick with the tried-and-true traditional funeral.
The long and short of this is that if you’re currently undecided as to what you’d like to happen to your corpse, know that every day your options expand. Death is not only a huge business; it’s also become quite the creative enterprise, full of entrepreneurs eager to Americanize death and cash in on your corp$e.
Before you make any decisions about your postmortem particulars, however, you might want to sit back and ponder bigger, more fundamental questions such as these: Should you even care what happens to your corpse? And, if so, why? So what if you’re cremated or left intact, celebrated or mourned, exploded in the heavens or buried under the earth? You’ll be dead, of course, so why should it matter what the living do with you?
Let me, first of all, tell you why I think it should matter to all of us. Secondly, let me spell out the practical implications that positive belief has for what we do with the body after death.
Our bodies matter because, even in death, they continue to be at the core of our human identity. The real me is not something hidden within and enveloped by an extraneous costume of flesh and blood. My face is not a mask. My hands are not gloves. My sexual organs are not accouterments attached to a human outfit. They are part of me. So death is not a disrobing of the naked soul that constitutes my true personhood.
To treat my body with respect, love, and honor is to treat me with respect, love, and honor, for my body continues to be an essential part of who I am.
As such, my postmortem body continues to embody memories of who I am. Let’s say that death has come calling for me. What will my wife and children, my parents and sister, see when they see me? They’ll see the man whom they still love. They will not see a shell, an empty husk. My wife will see the face of the man who stood before her and vowed, “I do.” My children will see the hands that held them on the day they were born, and that wiped away their tears when they hurt themselves. My parents will see a scar on my right wrist that I got when barely out of kindergarten. Much of my biography is inscribed upon my body; it is part of who I am, my story, my personality. It is not peripheral to my personhood. A body is not some thing but some one. As such, I want my family to treat my body not as an object I sloughed off upon leaving this world, but as the continuing, meaningful icon of my identity as son, father, and husband. To treat my body with respect, love, and honor is to treat me with respect, love, and honor, for my body continues to be an essential part of who I am.
If this were the sole reason for us to care what happens to our corpses, it would be sufficient. But for those who hold to a theistic worldview, who believe that God created our bodies, there are many more reasons to care. Jews and Christians alike confess that the Creator makes and shapes our bodies from the moment of conception onward. In the words of Psalm 139, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our very existence is a divine gift; and part of that gift are eyes of a certain color, legs of a certain length, a nose of a certain size—each tiny part of us uniquely fashioned as our own. Our body is a gift while also a continued possession of the Giver. It is not ours to do with as we please.
What we do with these gifts should reflect that they are from God. And what applies when those bodies are alive applies equally when they are not alive. Death does not disown God from our bodies. They continue to be his possession, his gift to us, part of that divine bestowal that marks who we are as created people formed in God’s image and likeness. Thus, even when I’m dead, my corpse matters, because God’s gifts matter. I want my body to be treated not as a piece of meat, or fuel for the fire, but as a blessing from heaven.
Our very existence is a divine gift; and part of that gift are eyes of a certain color, legs of a certain length, a nose of a certain size—each tiny part of us uniquely fashioned as our own.
For those who believe that there will be a resurrection on the last day, there are even more reasons to care what happens to our corpse. Every Sunday Christians around the world confess in the Nicene Creed that they believe in “the resurrection of the body.” They hold that, as the body of Jesus was raised back to life on Easter, so this same Jesus will unearth and enliven their bodies—indeed, the bodies of everyone—when he comes again. Thus, for Christians, not only do their bodies point backward to God’s creation of them, those same bodies point forward to God’s coming re-creation of them. Death does indeed sever the soul from the body, but this is only temporary; indeed, it is highly unnatural. But nature will be restored and perfected, soul and body reunited, in the resurrection. Therefore, whatever is done to my body postmortem, let those actions boldly confess that God is not done with this body. Lay my body to rest as a divine gift; do not dispose of it as human residue.
Death is the final liminal moment in life, wherein we transition from one state to another. Like other of these important moments, such as birth or baptism or marriage, death also has cultural and religious rituals attached to it. These threshold moments, and the ceremonies by which people commemorate them, express what we hold to be true about human existence. How people welcome a newborn child into this world tells us what they think of procreation and human life. The rituals around the union of husband and wife tell us what they think of marriage. And funeral ceremonies, too, reveal our cultural and religious thoughts on life and death, the human body, and the afterlife.
These threshold moments, and the ceremonies by which people commemorate them, express what we hold to be true about human existence.
These rituals, however, are not only expressive. They also affirm, instruct, and constitute what we hold to be true. In other words, rituals are also teaching moments. We are taught what marriage is at a wedding. That instruction may be good or bad, but it is instruction nonetheless. The same holds true for a funeral. Death is acknowledged, commemorated, and expounded upon through the rituals that accompany it.
Those who believe that the body, even after death, continues to matter, continues to be part of the human identity of the deceased individual, ought to desire a death ritual that does not undermine but underscores that truth. This brings up the subjects of cremation and its seeming opposite—“extreme embalming.”
Over the last few decades, the number of people who have opted for cremation over burial has skyrocketed, from a mere 3.56 percent in 1960 to a projected 48.8 percent by 2017. The reasons for this upward shift range from economic to ecological—with a heavy stress on the former. Whatever a person’s thinking on this subject might be, the fact that almost half of American funerals will soon have no body present is worthy of note—and, in my opinion, worthy of reversal.
Whatever a person’s thinking on this subject might be, the fact that almost half of American funerals will soon have no body present is worthy of note—and, in my opinion, worthy of reversal.
Incinerating a person’s body does not bear a neutral or positive message about what the body is; it says that this body is so unimportant that it need no longer exist as a body. Cremation reduces the continuing, meaningful icon of spouse, child, sibling, or parent into an urn full of ashes. It is the radical transformation of the human body into something that bears no resemblance to the human body. The fruit of the womb becomes the fruit of fire. It renders the very substance of our humanity—an “I”—into an object—an “it.”
Our culture has been hard at work for decades now in redefining the body from a divine gift into a physical object with which we can do as we wish. If there is an object known as a fetus growing inside a woman against her wishes, it can be legally removed and disposed of through the machine of abortion, as if the baby is a mere tumor. The unborn infant is not a he or a she (an “I”), but an it. If male bodies do not display the particular sexual objects the male desires, or vice versa for the female, they can alter their sexual parts as a mechanic alters the parts on an automobile. Rather than seeing bodies as a divine creation, fashioned in each case for the particular individual, as a blessing to them, it is seen as a mere physical object with which we can do as we please. They are, after all, our bodies, as the thinking goes. Does not our culture already make our bodies into objects enough, without us adding an exclamation point to that sad fact by opting for cremation when that body dies? If anything, a countercultural statement can be made in the rituals surrounding death by affirming, in our actions with the body of the deceased, that this corpse is not an it but an I.
Does not our culture already make our bodies into objects enough, without us adding an exclamation point to that sad fact by opting for cremation when that body dies?
Those who are religious yet opt for cremation often argue that God can put their bodies back together on the day of resurrection no matter what has happened to those bodies. Indeed, according to the Christian tradition, the omnipotent Creator can do, and will do, just that. What is at issue, however, is not the power of God but the responsibility of people to do what bears witness to the body as a divine gift. We need to reconstitute a unified Christian witness that this body bears the image of God and will be reconstituted perfectly to bear that image in the resurrection. Rather than burning the body, let the body be bathed, clothed, and laid to rest as one who is awaiting the resurrection. Because funeral rituals affirm, instruct, and constitute what we hold to be true about life and death and the afterlife, careful consideration should be given before we teach, by our actions, that bodies are mere fuel for the fire.
On the opposite spectrum of cremation are recent attempts to mannequinize the corpse through so-called extreme embalming. Earlier this year, for instance, Miriam Burbank was posed sitting upright at her funeral under a disco ball “with a glass of Busch beer, a menthol cigarette and a New Orleans Saint-themed manicure.” It was what her daughters called a “perfect send-off.” And there was the April funeral of philanthropist Mickey Easterling, whose body, wrapped in a pink feather boa and holding a champagne glass, was bid farewell in a party atmosphere. Although these examples might be on the fringe, they reflect a vastly popular movement toward “putting the fun back in funeral” by having a Celebration of Life (COL) instead of a traditional funeral. I have critiqued that movement in another article, but it bears mention here because of the growing tendency to imbue the funeral or COL with more finality that it deserves. As Easterling’s daughter said, her mother’s funeral seemed to be a “really nice way to say, ‘The party’s over.’”
Ironically, in the end, cremation and such party-style funerals both suggest the same message concerning the deceased, namely, that death is the final chapter of human existence. Cremation says, “This is it, so we’d just as well destroy the body,” while Celebrations of Life say, “This is it, so let’s celebrate what was.” In both cases, the most important message that can be communicated at a funeral is muted: that this is not the end of this person. Indeed, the body itself is a physical prophecy of what is to come. This body, though now dead, has a living future. The party is far from over.
Like it or not, all of us have decisions to make about what happens to our bodies upon death. Better that we make our choices known to our loved ones, lest they make decisions for us that contradict the foundational beliefs we held in this life. We will not speak at our funeral, but we can let our choices speak for us.
Those who think that this life is all there is can have a ceremony that reflects that belief. But for those who confess that this life is but the preparation for a life to come, who believe that their bodies are a good and gracious gift from the creating God, who affirm that this same body will one day be resurrected, let them have a ceremony that reflects that belief.
At my own funeral, I want the message to be that the best is yet to come.
Find Chad’s meditations, poetry, and musings at Flying Scroll.
To read the original posting, click here.
In a sermon, my pastor said that Catholics can choose to be cremated, but then the ashes must be buried in the ground, not strewn at sea or otherwise disposed of.
CCC: ” 2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research.
The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body. ”
See CCC 2276 – 2279 regarding Church teaching on euthanasia and Palliative Care prior to making any Health Care initiative or Living Will.
See the CCC 1023 – 1037 regarding HEAVEN, PURGATORY, & HELL.
Jesus said that FEW will be Saved: Mt 7:13-14; Lk 13:23-28;
Starting immediately – live the rest of your life accordingly.
It is your choice based upon your own free will actions and omissions where you will spend eternity.
In lieu of flowers you may want to request that people have Masses said for your Soul at the Catholic Church nearest their home.
(The donation for a Mass is usually about $15.)
Neither the Priest, nor anyone at the Funeral should “presume” that your Soul went directly to Heaven.
Jesus is the only Judge of this.
CCC: ” 2092 There are two kinds of presumption.
Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high),
or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit). “
PRAYING for the DEAD –
Since Protestant Bibles do not contain the last 6 books in the Old Testament for a total of our 46 books, they do not believe in praying for their Dead. They believe in Heaven and Hell only with no purification needed for attachment to venial sins.
2 MAC 12:45.
CCC: ” 1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence.
Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin.
On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin.
These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin.
A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain. ”
See INDULGENCES – CCC: 1471 – 1479.
One can obtain an indulgence for himself or any one of the deceased, not another living person.
Do your homework, the Protest-ant Bibles are missing SEVEN PLUS books!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Kenneth M. Fisher
My husband died a year ago. He was cremated per his wishes and the ashes placed in a niche at a Catholic cemetery after a Catholic service at our parish church. I have to calm myself, as this author seems to think that everyone has enough money to have embalming, casket, burial vault, grave, marker, services of a funeral director. As it was, it cost me over $13,000. If I had all of the above for my husband, it would have been more than doubled that amount. Perhaps the increase in the number of cremations is due to overwhelming cost of dying these days. Living on Social Security forces one to make tough choices.
That is so true, Sheila, about the high cost of dying. My son was just talking about that last week, how you never see traditional funerals anymore…just memorial services. What you said makes alot of sense. Many years ago (1963) Jessica Mitford wrote “The American Way of Death”, a muckraking novel on the high cost of dying in this country, so this isn’t a new problem, but finding a middle ground where we can have a reverent funeral in the Catholic tradition and still not go into debt paying for it is something many of us will have to face. I want to have it all planned so no one has to be left holding the bag, so to speak. :) Also, may I extend my sincere sympathy on the loss of your husband. So many of my friends who’ve lost husbands say it gets more difficult as the years pass rather than easier. Did you read ” Walk with me, Jesus: A Widow’s Journey’ by Ronda Chervin? I used to watch her show on EWTN. I wasn’t a widow, but she’s a very interesting person. God bless.
A few years ago, after a serious illness, I planned my funeral and burial. When I went shopping for the simple services I wanted, I was shocked. I paid for the cemetery plot and mortuary services in installments, so that my family won’t have to make those decisions. Though they may not like it, I think that many families will be forced to choose cremation for a loved one because a traditional funeral would be impossible to pay for. I hope that at some time in the future a less expensive form of burial will be available.
Sarah, due to the expense, I also have chosen cremation.
If one plans in advance and does not go through a Funeral Home, they can save almost $1000 on the cremation services alone which include picking up the body, cremation and more.
Search the internet for cremation services in your area of your State.
One can also check at their Parish office, and find out where people go for cremation services at the least expense.
This is not a funeral home.
(This is how I found mine.)
A family member or friend will bring the remains to the Church for the Funeral Mass, and then to the cemetery.
You can save over $9,000 dollars total.
Do not have a Funeral Home pick up the body. Once they take possession of the body – the charges start accruing including storage.
Sarah and MAC,
There are fairly low cost insurance plans to cover the burial expenses!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Kenneth M. Fisher
In the end, if you did not chose cremation followed by someone carrying your ashes around with him, God knows that.
My cousin actually had the grace of having Msgr. Tulio Andreatta (In my opinion a Saint) administer the Last Rites to her. Her husband, a very bitter man had her cremated probably against her will and as far as I know is still carrying her ashes around with him! THAT IS NOT HER FAULT!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Kenneth M. Fisher
Fisher, hopefully your Aunt knew what kind of a person she married; and hopefully she also gave her required direction regarding burial in her last written will or other legal document.
Personally, I have no intention of paying a Funeral business thousands of dollars. Through State legislatures, they have had some laws passed that are not necessary that cost more.
Cremation not going through a funeral home, and other directions of mine are in writing and paid for.
I know you believe in God and the raising of the Dead.
God can do anything. Including raising those creamated or turned to dust from being placed in caskets in the ground. Either way our bodies disintegrate – until God makes other plans for us.
There was only a red feather in St. Henry Cardinal Newman’s casket when they exhumed his coffin! Nothing else remained. There were saints who after being martyred were burned and their ashes cast in the wind. I agree with you that with God, all things are possible. He made Adam from dust, after all!
It depend what you personally consider low cost, and it depends if you want a burial vs a cremation.
Cremations are permitted by the Catholic Church. No embalming ect., needed.
This subject concerns me a great deal. When I have tried to find out about funeral and burial plans for the elders in our family, I get a deep discomfort and vague brushing off of the subject.
One has said, “What do I care? I’ll be dead! That’s YOUR problem!” And this from a person who was born and raised in the Faith and attends Mass every Sunday and Holy Day. It is deeply frustrating and distressing. And yet I find myself alone in my concerns.
Even those closest to me run away as quickly as possible when I bring up the subject. Most spouses will find that cannot act on such a matter without the cooperation and agreement of their husband or wife. With the planning and expenses involved it cannot be done alone.
Mary, planning ahead is important.
Those who refuse to plan ahead get whatever their closest relative or executor of their will decides and includes what they can afford.
And you can make it clear to them, but only if you think it may start them thinking. Usually married couples want to share their niche (separate containers for remains, not mixed), or be buried next to each other. This will NOT necessarily happen if no plans are made. They get what they get.
Wow what a myriad of stories.
Traditional funerals are to costly in the eyes of some. Depends to what extremes and sales gimmicks the funeral home is trying to sell the family. One can get better bargains by getting a funeral plan/contract of their choice.
Does anyone remember what the purpose of life insurance was meant for? Yes, yes, for the deceased’s family to have financial support; but wasn’t it also meant to pay for the costs of the deceased’s funeral? How many greedy family members are out there that want to take the life insurance money and spend it on themselves? Plenty of those greedy people.
You know the least that can be done in respect and honoring a deceased loved one with dignity is to give them a traditional funeral, planting their remains intact in the ground. This celebration of life stuff is all bunk. Funerals are meant to be sad, not parties. I think alot of this protestant thinking is on account of so many believeng their loved one went to those pearly gates of St. Peter without a stop along the way to this questionable place called purgatory.
Yes purgatory does exist. There is not one of us humans who hasn’t offended God, I mean sinned in our life time. Only two humans I know of were without sin, Jesus and His Mother Mary.
Most of us do not carry life insurance after our children have left the nest.
It is too expensive.
And what little we have left should go to the living expenses of our spouses.
My understanding was that Cremation was disfavored – only when used as a symbol of Anti-Christian denial of the Resurrection on ‘Judgment Day’ (often denoted as a ‘summary court’ in perpetual session) – as to claim otherwise would be to deny those who perished in fire though no fault of their own.
I see no reason for embalming when the corpus may be refrigerated prior to any service / internment, and know that at least Some in the ‘funeral industry’ see bereavement as producing particularly vulnerable cash cows.
The movie “The Loved One” is a true classic of the genre – particularly with Jonathan Winters & Liberace as players in the game.
As a former Fireman I knew full well that the beast is always hungry, particularly for those who dare fight it – but like the man said ‘it can blow at any seam’, and it is always wise to be prepared. Many Fireman (including those of FDNY on 9/11) either penned short notes to family and loved ones, or had them waiting in their lockers – just in case that day came.
For myself – Last i checked I still get a free plot in a national cemetery (USCG – Honorable), although with POTUS Barry ‘on the Down Low’ Soetoro in charge one wonders if we won’t be used for waste heat generation in an abortuary – as a sign of ‘tolerance’ if naught else.
No one wants to die – but when I do go, I can only hope it is with as even a touch of the honor and dignity that Saint Pope John Paul ii Showed. Amen
That was a great post! Thank you so much for your service to your community Michael. I totally agree about your assessment of St. Pope John Paull II. That’s why that poor woman in the photo above makes me sad…I read alot of mysteries and when a killer puts the victim’s body in a staged pose that makes a mockery of them and takes away their diginity, it is always considered really wicked. I feel badly that anyone would do that to themselves. How sad. I pray that however I meet my end, I am able in someway to die with dignity, like my parents did, and St. John Paul, of course, and ALL the saints. What an example to us all. I hope to be buried by my family in an old cemetery where for six generations are buried. My oldest son is between his great and great great grandparents.
“The Church earnestly recommends the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed, it does not however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching” (Canon 1176).
“The practice of cremation has grown and become more commonplace in the United States, and it is often presented as a more affordable alternative to traditional burial. What is often overlooked is the Church’s teaching regarding the respect and honor due to the human body. The Order of Christian Funerals’ Appendix on Cremation states: “Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites” (no. 413).
This is what Code of Canon Law 1176 fully states:
” Can. 1176
§1. Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law.
§2. Ecclesiastical funerals, by which the Church seeks spiritual support for the deceased, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living, must be celebrated according to the norm of the liturgical laws.
§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.”
In the USA due to the prohibitive cost for most people, cremation by not using a Funeral Home is a wonderful option and does not effect Catholic services or our Faith in any negative manner.
Use your CCC.
There may be some Countries that burials in the ground are not so expensive.
To bury the dead is a work of mercy.
Anonymous, cremains must be buried or placed in a permanent niche as well. It is all part of the Act of Mercy of burying the dead.
Make your own plans as you see fit, and can afford.
If you wish to donate money to the rest of us for a FUNERAL HOME burial, let us know.
Adhere to the CCC in entirety or you will be a heretic. Stop criticizing others who adhere to Church teaching but may not have a wad of cash in the bank.
If I had a lot of money to waste, which I don’t, I would rather donate it to those most in need. There are starving families in this world.
My body won’t care one way or another, and neither will Jesus.
We will all be in accord with Church teaching – those who have expensive funerals like you, and those who are cremated without using a funeral home.
As cremation is chosen more frequently, there will be many who are unaware of the Church’s teaching regarding this practice. It is important for bishops and pastors not only to catechize the faithful, but to collaborate with funeral directors in providing helpful and accurate information to families planning the funeral of loved ones. Offering opportunities to family members for the respectful burial of their loved ones, who were not interred after funeral services and cremation, would give effective witness to the importance of Christian burial and our belief in the resurrection. In all, pastors are encouraged to show pastoral sensitivity, especially to those for whom cremation is the only feasible choice (see Appendix, no. 415 Order of Christian Funerals).
USCCB Committee on Divine Worship
Anonymous, since Funeral Directors are out to make money, and hit many vulnerable people with guilt trips for the most expensive services the person can afford, – – – – – – – Funeral Directors certainly are not appropriate to teach anyone the Faith.
Stick to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” (of 1997) to teach the Doctrine of the Faith in all matters. You are a heretic if you teach differently.
Regarding the permissibility of cremation see: CCC 2301.
The CCC is all we need to know, not someone trying to lay a guilt trip on the families of the deceased or dying person.
It is superstitious or heretical to presume that God can not raise up the dust bodies of those who are cremated vs those the dust of who are buried.
I have no intention of contributing to the wealth of anyone due to my death.
Everyone should check out cremation services in their own area of the Country and avoid Funeral Homes entirely.
Do not have a body sent to a Funeral Home unless money is no object.
A Funeral Mass and Catholic burial will be handled through the Parish of the deceased – cremated or not. So contact the appropriate Parish asap after death.
The things I posted are from the official documents of the Catholic Church.
If you look at the small number by CCC 2301, it cites the canon law that I posted.
The key word is permitted. It is permitted. It is not the ordinary method requested by the church, which is burial of the body.
If you choose cremation, you are no longer disobeying the Church as before Vatican II.
When in doubt, turn to the CCC which contains the Doctrine of the Faith –
CCC: ” 2201 ……… The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body. ”
The CCC overrules all Documents except the Bible, and this includes USCCB docs.
Don’t let anyone pull the rug over your eyes especially when it comes to the Faith.
The Bible and CCC are the best sources.
The ‘Celebration’ of the “WAKE” is generally not considered Part of the Funeral, which is for sending in to the after-life.
However – “Waking the Dead’ was an often Wise Custom, before the age of modern medicine, heart monitors and brain scans…
The term “Dead Drunk” refers to someone in such a state of intoxication (alcohol poisoning) to be as drunk as you can get – without actually being Dead. Those ‘suspected’ of Death (particularly if they had a tradition of heavy imbibing) were often given a ‘Wake’ to literally see if the subject came to – prior to internment.
Without going in to further details – the book by Michael Crichton “The Great Train Robbery” provides considerable background in to the establishment of “Batson’s Belfry” (Used as a Ruse in the Robbery) – from which we got the more modern term “Bats in his Belfry” – which probably was more applicable to the individual who invented it.