I am a member of a Chevra Kadisha. After completing a Tahara of a female the body and head is completely enrobed and placed in a coffin ready for burial. Following that, sometimes there is a request by a relative to see the body. A male director of the Chevra Kadisha then opens the casket and removes the head covering for viewing. My question is a] Is it permissable to open a coffin for viewing ? b] Is it permissable for a male to uncover the head of a female Met?
The Tzeida Laderech book writes that they should be careful not to show her hair, aside from when washing the body. If the woman was careful to cover her hair during her life it violates the honor of the dead for a male to see her hair, since if she could she would be embarrassed. Looking at the face of the dead is harmful - it makes one forget what he's learned. Uncovering the face of the dead and having people pass by is Minhag Goyim and forbidden. (Kolbo). Rabbi Ro'i Margalit