Are Embalming Services Necessary with Cremation?

Published: February 13, 2023
by Medina Funeral Home & Cremation Service
cremation services in Bells, TN

As providers of cremation services in Bells, TN., we often get asked many questions. Many questions are about the process of cremation with the most commonly asked question being if someone has to be embalmed when being cremated.  Because this answer can be yes and no, we wanted to take a minute and explain when a body might need to be embalmed with cremation, and when it might not.  

What is Embalming?

First, let’s talk a little about more about what embalming is. The process has been around for thousands of years dating back as far as the First Dynasty in Egypt. The mummies of Egypt at that time are what most people think of when they hear the word embalming.  

The embalming process is used to help slow the decomposition of the body after death. It doesn’t completely stop the decomposition, but does halt it enough for the family to have time to have services and have the body on display.  

What is Cremation?

Now that we know what embalming is, let’s talk next a little about cremation. Cremation is an alternative form of body disposition for those who would rather not be buried in the ground. It takes place by the body being placed in a cremation container which is much like a casket. The body and the container are then placed in the cremation chamber where very high temperatures are used to reduce the body down to it’s minerals. These mineral fragments are what is referred to as the “cremains”, or “ashes”.  

Is Embalming Necessary with Cremation?

If the body is being reduced to minerals during cremation you may think there is no reason to embalm the body beforehand, and you would be correct, in some cases. For example, if the family wishes to have their loved one cremated directly after the death and hold a memorial service after the cremation, there would be no need for the embalming services.  

However, if a family would like to hold a service prior to the cremation such as a funeral service, viewing, or visitation, embalming services would be recommended. This is because with these types of services the body is typically on display. The embalming process will help slow decomposition to allow the body to be displayed as well as allow for time to plan and hold such services.   

Embalming before cremation may also take place for special circumstances. One such example could be if the body is being transported across state lines. This is because embalming will help reduce the chances of the body spreading any disease as well as decompose slower and allow for travel time. 

cremation services in Bells, TN

Does a Body Have to Be Embalmed?

Although in special circumstances, such as transporting the body across state lines, embalming may be required, in most states there are no laws that require embalming in regular circumstances.  

To know if embalming should be added to cremation services in Bells, TN. for your loved one. feel free to give us a call or come by anytime. Our cremation directors are here to talk with you one-on-one about your needs and answer any questions you have regarding this process.

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