In many cultures today, embalming is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to make them presentable for viewing at the repose. The three aims of embalming are sanitization, presentation and preservation of human remains. Embalming has a very long and cultural history, with many people giving the embalming processes great religious significance.
Generally, if embalming has not taken place, the body will begin to decompose. In order that this does not happen, preserving chemicals are used so that the remains can be viewed at the repose, if required.
On completion of the embalming process, the embalmer will dress the remains and apply makeup and/or cosmetics that are appropriate for the age and gender. At times, restorative measures may be required to restore or rebuild certain physical features, if slight disfiguration has taken place. At Legacy the embalming process is always performed by a qualified professional.
It is important for families to realise that embalming is a necessary procedure for the deceased and the families involved, if viewing is required. The viewing or repose is when the family and friends gather at the funeral home to view the deceased resting in the coffin.
It should be stressed that embalming is not required by law (unless the remains are going out of the Republic of Ireland).