The purpose of embalming is to preserve the body of the deceased as faithfully as possible. This
element of the funeral rites restores the dignity of the deceased and offers the family and next of kin the opportunity to see the body of the loved one for one last time.
After learning the causes of death, the embalmer will be able to determine the work that needs to be done on the body.
The first stage of embalming, thanatopraxis, consists in halting the deterioration of the body by injecting preservative fluids in the tissue. Next, if required, use will be made of products to restore an appearance of flexibility to the skin, or of wax to remodel the face. The bodies of those who have died after a lengthy illness or violent accident require longer and more delicate work.
The deceased person then receives certain aesthetic treatments. Make-up is first applied to the skin. Different from standard make-up, this involves colored moisturizing creams, without which the skin would dry up. Finally, the hair is styled and the body is laid in the casket. It is now ready for its final encounter with its loved ones.
Preparation of the deceased involves the steps required for the sanitary disposition of the body through cremation.
Any human body that is exposed for more than 24 hours or whose exposure commences more than 18 hours after the time of death must be embalmed.