What is embalming?


Embalming is a process which is used to slow down the natural decay of the body and has been used in varying forms for thousands of years.

It is often requested when families wish to view and spend time with their deceased loved one for a longer period of time before the funeral or burial.

Some people require embalming to be undertaken as part of their cultural heritage or religious tradition, it may simply be a wish expressed by the loved one before their death, or used to allow more time for family members and friends to travel and say goodbye in person.

Our Chelmsford Star Co-op Funeral Directors are happy to talk and guide you through the embalming process in branch, to discuss if it is the right choice for your loved one.

What is involved in the embalming process?

After the body is washed, there are two different types of embalming that are usually undertaken – either cavity or arterial. Our Funeral Directors can explain the process and the chemicals which are used to preserve your loved one’s body.

Once embalming is complete, our Funeral Directors undertake the cosmetic procedures most families require in preparation for viewings. This can involve washing the deceased’s body again, dressing them in chosen clothes, brushing hair and applying makeup.

When is embalming a legal requirement?

If your loved one needs to be repatriated either from or to the UK, embalming is then a legal requirement. The alternative is cremation followed by repatriation of the ashes.

Who undertakes the embalming?

At Chelmsford Star Co-op Funerals, many of our Funeral Directors have the skills and facilities to carry out embalming on their premises or, alternatively, you may wish to organise for an embalmer to carry out the procedure.

Embalming is a choice

If none of your family intend to view your loved one before the funeral, then embalming is not usually required.

Some religions prohibit the practice of embalming, including Judaism, Islam and some forms of Christianity.

Our Funeral Directors are always available to speak to you about the funeral choices you have.

We can help you with all your funeral planning arrangements