Preparation of the Deceased


The care and respect that Harbour City Funeral Home gives to a deceased person begins from the time they are transferred from the place of death to our funeral home. All our transfer staff are fully trained in conducting the transfer in a dignified and caring manner whether the place of death is in a private home, hospital or more public place. This standard of care continues right through the entire process of the funeral preparations. When you advise us of the death we will ask you whether you wish the deceased to be embalmed.

We always seek verbal approval before a person is embalmed. We can assist you with this decision, however at the end of the day, you must be comfortable with your choices. We have qualified embalmers on staff who take care of the preparation of the deceased. At all times every deceased person is handled as if family members are present: with full dignity and care. We attach a great deal of significance to the preparation for a viewing; the dressing and grooming of the deceased person is an important part of this process. The end result of mortuary care is that the deceased person is presented in a safe, clean and hygienic way.


As part of our care and respect for a deceased person, we offer you the choice of no embalming. Alternatively we have developed various options to allow for ‘light embalming’, which limits the amount of chemicals used in the embalming process. We use New Zealand–made Eco products for washing the person who has died. Our staff will be pleased to talk about the full range of options available and the consequences of any choices for the funeral that you are organising. For more information on eco funerals, see


Clothing and Dressing

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Before you spend time with the person who has died, we will ask you to bring in the clothing you would like them to be dressed in. When deciding on the clothing to be worn, remember to include all undergarments. We will normally dress the person and place them in the casket.

On some occasions, in accordance with cultural considerations or personal wishes, the family may choose to either dress the person who has died or assist us in this process. We welcome your involvement and do not wish to take over at any time. If you wish to be involved in dressing the deceased please let us know at your earliest convenience.

Harbour City Funeral Homes