After the funeral of Che Lewis, where extreme embalming was used, the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad, reminded people of the dignity of the body and said parishes will now have to request details ahead of funeral services, Catholic News Trinidad and Tobago reported.
Various news outlets, such as Loop news, included images of Lewis’ corpse sitting in a chair at his own funeral.
At the funeral, Lewis’ body was presented sitting in a chair while wearing a suit and sunglasses. The archdiocese released a statement regarding Lewis’ funeral: “The seated body of Che Lewis was taken from the funeral home located in Belmont to the St John the Evangelist RC Church, Diego Martin,” the statement read.
“Lewis and his father Adlay Lewis were killed at their Bagatelle, Diego Martin, home on November 14. The body of the elder Lewis was in a casket and inside the church while his son was positioned near the entrance. A lay minister presided at the service within the church and the usual rituals took place with the sprinkling of holy water and incensing also done for Lewis.”
Fr Roger Paponette, who is trained in Canon Law, said of the funeral, “You are treating the body as if there is no seriousness in death.”
The embalming was done by Dennie’s Funeral Home, where the motto is “Every life is unique therefore, every funeral should be unique.”
While the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Code of Canon Law do not specify how a body is to be presented at a funeral and wake, traditionally embalmed bodies are put in a respectful, peaceful position, laying down in a casket.
Cover image credit: By 1Parishioner – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons