No more standing or sitting of corpses at Roman Catholic churches. If it’s not laying inside a coffin, then the funeral service will not be allowed inside Roman Catholic churches.
The announcement was made by Archbishop Jason Gordon during an interview on I95.5 yesterday.
According to the Archbishop, funerals where a corpse is displayed either standing or sitting is, “a pappyshow of the dead and a desecration of the temple of the Holy Spirit.”
“It is a desecration of the dead and it is something that we are going to put a very clear policy on it very shortly,” he said.
The Archbishop added, “It is a desecration of the temple of the holy spirit.”
Gordon said he has already approached the various churches on this type of funeral and a policy will be put out shortly.
He further stated that he intends to write to the undertakers of this type of funeral in order to explain the church’s position.
The trend started last November when murder victim Che Lewis’s body was embalmed and placed on the back of a pick-up van and driven to the Evangelist Church in Diego Martin.
Last month, another murder victim, Jevon Clairmont, had his body placed in a glass enclosure at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Responding to the Archbishop’s announcement move, the funeral home behind the unorthodox display of corpses, Dennie’s Funeral Home Limited told Guardian Media it was not surprised by the Archbishop’s decision.
It also noted that interest in this unorthodox send-off has been growing.
According to the home’s managing director, Tyler Dennie, “Anything you are doing out of the ordinary there will always be some sort of discomfort, in terms of the general public and those people, who do not facilitate change that much. But, with the Archbishop not allowing it at the Roman Catholic church you can rest assured we will continue.”
Dennie indicated that other religious groups have not objected to this type of funeral service since it is not uncommon in other parts of the world.
“We did it with a Baptist person and we did it under a Christian Pentecostal service and there was no hesitation or hiccup. The person was actually standing while the service was going on and the pastor was actually standing next to the person,” Dennie said.
He added, “In Ghana they dance with coffins and I am sure that when people saw that they were dancing with the coffins, people would have said it was pappyshowing and so on but, it all depends on the lifestyle and how the individual who has passed wants to be remembered.”
Dennie is hoping the Roman Catholic community has a change of heart. In the meantime, he said the funeral home will work with both families of the deceased and the churches to ensure everyone is left at ease.