Embalming / Viewing


Embalming is temporary, invasive formaldehyde-based chemical procedure designed to inhibit decomposition. According to the World Health Organization, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

  • In the State of California, embalming IS NOT required by law.
  • Refrigeration IS required by law in California. Refrigeration is a temporary preservation without invasive chemical treatment.


Held in churches prior to services and in chapels offered by various cemeteries in Colma, viewing is important to many family and friends.

Viewing Without Embalming

For many years, Colma Cremation has provided viewing without embalming for services and visitations in churches or cemetery chapels. Without embalming, your loved one will have a natural appearance. Our licensed embalmer, Joseph Stinson (with over 40 years of experience), provides gentle care and expertise when providing this natural alternative.

If you would like to discuss the many options for Funeral Service Planning with a viewing, please ask our staff for more information.