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Is touching a dead body wrong/a sin?

Discussion in 'Caregivers, Family & Grief Support' started by AceHarddrive, Oct 21, 2005.

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  1. The Bad Templar

    The Bad Templar Senior Member

    I used to work in a funeral home and had to deal with deceased people every day.

    I actually found it a blessing as a Christian to be able to care for the body of someone's loved one in their time of grief.
  2. Akathist

    Akathist Theology Team Supporter

    Eastern Orthodox
    It is not a sin to touch a dead body. There were sanitation laws that the Old Testiment had in place that were necessary especially when one did not know the cause of death. (BTW, it is unwise to touch any dead animal or person if you do not know the cause of death and it is advised that if you must that you were very very good gloves and a mask.)

    In the Orthodox Faith we do not usually use embalming and have our funerals within 24 hours of the death. We touch the person, we kiss the back of their hands, family and close ones might kiss their cheek or forehead. This is not a "requirement" but it is not forbidden either.

    When my grandmother died, I was the one who carefully applied her make up the way she liked to wear it. (Though the funeral home washed her body and hair and dried her hair). My mother arranged her hair the way she liked to wear it instead of the way the funeral home had it. We also put her jewlery on as she always wore three or four necklaces plus a pin and about four rings an a bracelet and watch. (These things were removed before she was buried but for the funeral she was dressed fully in the way she would have wanted to be.)

    It was a nice moment when my mother and I did these things for my grandmother. We talked about how much we were going to miss her and how we really wanted her to look "herself" for the funeral. It also meant a lot to the people who came to the funeral as so many of them (I think everyone) said that it was so nice to see her as she normally looked as they had seen her in the hospital or nursing home not really looking like herself.

    They kept commenting on how amazing it was that the funeral home was able to get her to look so much like herself.

    (My grandmother is not Orthodox, she was embalmed).

    But at most Orthodox funerals the person looks natural, they just also look dead, and they look a bit more dead I guess than my grandmother did. But to me, it is the way it should be.
  3. mare61

    mare61 Member

    I was holding my husband in my arms when he passed. Then I had to check his pulse to verify the event before I called hospice. I committed no sin. Blessings, Mare
  4. RomanPrincess

    RomanPrincess Regular Member

    i touched the hand of my father at the viewing of his body.
  5. mom_one

    mom_one Contributor

    I kissed my dad on the cheek & told him good bye at the funeral home. also touched my mother when she passed away. but I had heard later that a person is unclean for 7 days after touching them.
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