We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,765 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EMBALMING

The temporary or prolonged preservation of a deceased body, for practical and religious reasons. Best known ancient embalming was in Egypt, some of whose mummies are relatively intact to the present day. In modern procedure, the blood is drained from a person's veins and replaced by a fluid, such as formalin, a solution of formaldehyde in water. Embalming by arterial injection became common in Western countries since the eighteen hundreds. In the early centuries, the Church rejected any form of embalming as a pagan custom, although there were notable exceptions, like Charlemagne, whose embalmed corpse was placed in a sitting position in his tomb at Aachen where he died in A.D. 814. the chief purpose of embalming is to give the deceased person a lifelike appearance for several days after death. There is no ecclesiastical legislation on the subject.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21