Corpses are the stuff of horror movies and bad dreams. More and more TV shows (CSI, etc) feature corpses as a regular part of the fare. I must say these shows strike me as gruesome. The way they treat dead bodies says alot about us as a people, a culture and our "spiritual" outlook.
Christianity has traditionally treated the body with the greatest respect. This was so because of the truths of the Christian faith. The one true God created the body. The Christian Scriptures testify to a personal intimate creation of our first parents and point to the same concern in the creation of every individual. The human person is not other than the body. The body is not a "wrapper" or an adiaphoron to the self. The Incarnation of God in the womb of the Virgin is the pinnacle of the high regard our God has for the physical dimension of the human self. In concrete terms, we simply do not exist on this earth without the body. There is a small measure of truth to the claims of science that much of who we are is natural processes of chemistry and biology.
The gory dismemberment and display of body parts and corpses on television is a ghastly manifestation of the godlessness at the heart of our shared culture. Where as previous ages lovingly gathered the bones of its martyrs and at the risk of their own death gathered to proclaim the the Lord's physical resurrection victory and vindicaiton of those remains, our culture treats such remains as meat. Other more Christian ages instinctively saw the body and the person as co-terminous. There was no horrible divorce of physical and spiritual.
The scenes on CSI and other programs come across as nothing more than butchershops. This should come as no surprise since our intellectual tradition has banished any sort of transcendental meaning from the human body, We can abort, cavort, abuse, fornicate in and through our flesh in any number of ways and all of this apart from "true selves' which are seen somehow as a spirutal entity floating free from the body.
The sacramental rites of the church as well as the burial rites stand in contrast to such empty visions. Baptism is applied as water to skin and Eucharist as bread and wine to mouths and tongues and teeth. God himself is given to us through our bodies. We are temples of the Holy Trinity. The funeral rites of a Christian focus on the corpse, not as so much meat to be chopped up, but as the object of the enfleshed God's eternal promise of resurrection.