Embalming is the process of preserving a body by means of preservative chemicals and techniques. Practiced by the Egyptians from the earliest times, and there brought to such perfection that even today those embalmed thousands of years ago remain preserved. Modern embalmers use preservative chemicals in treating the body to retard deterioration.
Embalming slows the speed of natural deterioration after a death and neutralises pathogens that may be present. This allows for more time in which a funeral service can take place, leaving time for family and friends to travel from far away as is often the case with an Irish funeral.