Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Failure To Bury the Dead
The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”
At first glance, you may wonder why intentionally failing to bury the ashes or the body of the dead would constitute grave matter that would risk eternal damnation if left unconfessed. The keywords here would be intentional failure. This would mean that you knew that this was a mortal sin and refused to bury said ashes or body. If you did not know, then it is not mortal.
So assuming that you didn’t know better, why is it a mortal sin to not bury the body or ashes?
We read in Genesis after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, God says:
“…By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
The punishment for Original Sin is death. God created us out of dust, out of nothingness. When we die our bodies will decompose back into dust and nothingness.
When we experience the Resurrection at the end of time, we will be reunited with our bodies and depending upon the state of our soul we will have either a glorified body or a corrupt body. Purgatory will be emptied and all souls that were in Purgatory will be granted access into Heaven so that they too may have those glorified bodies. The poor souls that rebelled against God and His mercy will be stuck with a corrupt body.
What makes failing to bury the dead grave matter is that we are going against God’s plan for the dead. That is, He wants them returned to the ground so that they can go back to where they came. This way when the Resurrection occurs they can rise again from their graves. It also allows for the body of the person to have a final resting place that they may have for them selves. Hence the old saying “Rest In Peace”.
It is unlikely that you have a dead body in your home. It is more likely that you have the ashes of a relative in your house. Maintaining those ashes in your house is dangerous to your soul as you are denying your relative their final burial and resting place.
I would also like to make note that cremation is not the traditional way that Catholics are to bury their dead. Burning the body and reducing it to dust hastens the progress of allowing the body to naturally return to dust. On top of that, there is no longer a body there, where as burying the body allows for the skeleton to stay there. There is still a body. Cremation was not accepted until after the Second Vatican Council. It was widely made popular by the freemasons. Masonry is itself a mortal sin as it goes against Jesus Christ and we should avoid doing the things that they do.
If you are forced to cremate by your government, it is not a mortal sin to do so as you are not choosing it yourself. However, if you are not being forced or coerced, bury the actual physical body.
Follow the plan that God allowed so that you can have peace in your soul and your relative can have peace as well.
Do not forget to pray for the repose of their soul. Unless they have been canonized by the Church as a Saint, they are not guaranteed in Heaven.
This post is one of many in a series on Mortal Sins. Click here for more posts explaining and defining mortal sins.