Funeral or Memorial Service: A Choice A funeral service is a service held in the presence of the body. A memorial service is one held without the body present. Both are intended to serve the emotional needs of the survivors. The Medical School prefers to receive the body immediately after death without embalming. As such, we may suggest that you consider a memorial service over a funeral service. If, however, a funeral is preferred, the body must be embalmed by your funeral director for funeralization purposes. It is very important that your funeral director notify the University funeral director for specific embalming instructions, so that your body will remain acceptable for donation after the funeral service has taken place.