What a fabulous read! I read every comment and question. My beautiful Mother passed two years ago. It had always been our practice to embalm, wake and bury our deceased relatives. My Father was the one who changed this practice, always insisting on a Mass and interment of his remains in an urn. At the time none of us wanted cremation for ourselves until we learned of the decomposition that occurs (excepting Evita Peron) and the misguided belief that our loved ones will forever remain as they were in life. Once we accept the decomposition can be done naturally it allows us the freedom to choose without any second-guessing or emotional guilt: my Mother was simply bathed respecting her modesty even in death, dressed very simply in a white cotton gown made with tatting, and shrouded in white. The funeral assistant who assisted me had never seen a shroud and commented on what a beautiful and respectful privilege it was to help me bathe and shroud my Mother. Christ was shrouded and that was inspiring and instructive to me.