Open thread: blessing for a cadaver??

Open thread: blessing for a cadaver?? January 2, 2013

Here’s a new one on me.  I got this e-mail today, from a campus minister at a large university:

We have a big Nursing program here and I was recently asked by one of the professors to do a blessing over the cadaver they will be using this semester.  I was wondering: is there any formal ‘Cadaver Blessing’ prayer used by priests, deacons, or ministers, perhaps from their book of prayers or somewhere else?  Just trying to see what’s out there.    Any assistance you could give I would appreciate.  Thanks.

Well, there’s nothing explicitly in the Book of Blessings for something like this, but I recommended that he read over some other prayers– for schools, or for the recently deceased — and adapt them accordingly.  A prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of life, and for the opportunity to continue God’s creative work in the world through science and research, might also be apt.  And this sort of thing is not unprecedented. I posted an item on this topic a couple years back.

But I have to wonder: does anyone out there know of any particular prayers/blessings that might be appropriate?


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