25 March 2016

Good Friday and Respect for the Dead

I've posted here, here, and here that cemeteries nearby to churches give visible testimony to our confession of the fundamental unity of the Church militant and the Church triumphant, the communion of the saints. In other words, the population of the holy, catholic Church is much larger than those currently living on the earth.

With a little more contemporary cultural flair, Wesley J. Smith makes a similar point in his piece, "The Walking Dead" and the Importance of Dead Bodies here. Turns out that as cremation is rapidly replacing Christian burial, "liquefaction" is the next trend in disrespect:
One trending secular approach for discarding bodies—I can’t think of a more apt descriptive—is liquefaction. The BBC described the system thusly:
The system works by submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide which is pressurised to 10 atmospheres and heated to 180C for between two-and-a-half and three hours. Body tissue is dissolved and the liquid poured into the municipal water system.
Having one’s remains poured into a sewer sends a powerful symbolic statement that human beings are nothing more than the sum of our chemistry, just as reverential burial says we are something more.

Of course, there's nothing disrespectful about liquefaction if human life itself is nothing more than a momentary concatenation of molecules. On the other hand, if we look forward to the resurrection of the dead then we should be pleased to join our pioneering Savior in the grave as we await the regeneration of all things, including our bodies.

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