What Is Embalming and What Purpose Does It Serve?

January 7, 2019 10:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s probably not a question you hear every day, but we do. As a local funeral planner in Lake City, FL, we are often asked, “What is embalming?” The logical follow-up question to this one is always, “What purpose does it serve?”

We’d like to offer the following guide to answer these basic inquiries. Use this FAQ to educate yourself on this process. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our staff.

What is embalming?

Embalming is a three-step process. It involves replacing bodily fluids with a preservative solution. It also disinfects the body. Lastly, the process prepares the deceased for a viewing or visitation.

What is the purpose of embalming?

As noted above, this process preserves and disinfects the body. Embalming sets the person’s features so they are more visually appealing for funeral services. If the deceased suffered a traumatic death, embalming can also repair physical damages to make the person more presentable for a viewing or funeral. This can make closure easier for loved ones, as they have the opportunity to say goodbye to the deceased much as they appeared while living.

Is embalming required by law?

No. There are regulations is some states that require funeral directors to refrigerate or embalm human remains upon receipt. This is simply to ensure the sanitary preservation of the deceased until burial occurs. Some cemeteries may also require embalming if the deceased will be placed in a crypt. If regulations do not require this process, a funeral planner in Lake City, FL can decide on the policy they would like to establish regarding embalming procedures. Some make this a standard part of their offerings, while others leave it up to the deceased’s family.

Is there an alternative to embalming?

If a body is not embalmed, it can be placed in a casket, shroud or other container and buried within a few days of death. This typically only occurs if there will not be a visitation or funeral service.

What solution is used for embalming?

The traditional embalming fluid is formaldehyde (formalin). However, modern alternative solutions are also available that are not formaldehyde based.

Should I choose embalming for my loved one?

As you make this decision, you should review the purposes for embalming and decide if this would be beneficial in your situation. You can also discuss your options with your funeral planner in Lake City, FL to weigh the pros and cons and receive their experienced input.

Is embalming forbidden by any religions?

Christianity neither forbids nor encourages embalming. Orthodox Jewish, Muslim and Bahá’í faiths, however, prohibit embalming, as they view this as a desecration of the body. Hindus and Buddhists typically choose cremation, which eliminates the need for embalming.

Get More Answers

We realize there are times when some answers simply generate more questions. If you would like more information about embalming or other funeral-related procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact your funeral planner in Lake City, FL. The professionals at ICS Cremation & Funeral Home would be glad to assist you. Reach out to our friendly staff today.

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