Understanding Funeral Terms

Ashes: The remains of a deceased person after cremation.

Bereavement: The period of mourning and grief following a death.

Bereavement support: Assistance and resources provided to help individuals and families cope with grief and loss.

Burial: The act of placing a deceased person's body in the ground.

Burial plot: A specific area of land designated for the interment of human remains.

Casket: A container made of wood, metal, or other materials used to hold a deceased person's body during a funeral service and burial.

Cemetery: A designated area of land used for the burial of human remains.

Chapel of rest: A room in a funeral home where families can view the deceased and pay their last respects before the funeral.

Coffin: A rectangular or tapered box, usually made of wood, used to hold a deceased person's body for burial.

Condolences: Expressions of sympathy offered to the bereaved family.

Cremains: The ashes of a deceased person after cremation.

Cremation: The process of reducing a deceased person's body to ashes through high heat and flame.

Crematorium: A facility where cremations are performed.

Death certificate: An official document certifying a person's death, including the date, time, and cause of death.

Death notice: A public announcement of a person's death, usually published in newspapers or online.

Direct cremation: A cremation without a funeral service or viewing.

Embalming: The process of preserving a deceased person's body using chemicals to delay decomposition.

Eulogy: A speech given at a funeral to remember and pay tribute to the deceased.

Executor: The person responsible for carrying out the instructions in a deceased person's will.

Flowers: A common symbol of condolence and respect, often used to decorate a funeral service or gravesite.

Funeral: A ceremony or service held to honor and celebrate the life of a deceased person.

Funeral costs: The expenses associated with a funeral service, including professional fees, transportation, and burial or cremation.

Funeral director: A professional who provides guidance and support to families during the funeral planning process.

Funeral home: A business that provides funeral services, such as arranging burials and cremations, and organizing funeral ceremonies.

Funeral insurance: A policy that covers the cost of a funeral, helping to ease the financial burden on the bereaved family.

Funeral plan: A pre-arranged plan that details a person's wishes for their funeral and covers the associated costs.

Funeral procession: A group of vehicles or people accompanying the deceased from the funeral service to the burial or cremation site.

Grave marker: A stone or plaque used to identify a burial plot.

Gravestone: A stone monument placed at the head of a grave to memorialize the deceased.

Green burial: An environmentally friendly burial option that avoids embalming and uses biodegradable materials.

Grief: The emotional and psychological response to the loss of a loved one.

Headstone: A stone or plaque placed at the head of a grave to commemorate the deceased.

Hearse: A vehicle used to transport a deceased person's body from the funeral service to the burial or cremation site.

In memoriam: A phrase used to honor and remember a deceased person.

Interment: The act of placing a deceased person's body in the ground or a mausoleum.

Mausoleum: A building designed for above-ground interment of human remains.

Memorial service: A ceremony held in honor of a deceased person, often without the presence of the body.

Memorial donations: Monetary contributions made in honor of a deceased person, often to a specific charity or cause.

Mortuary: A facility where deceased persons' bodies are stored and prepared for burial or cremation.

Obituary: A written notice of a person's death, often including a brief biography and details of the funeral service.

Pallbearer: A person selected to help carry the casket or coffin during a funeral procession.

Pre-need funeral plan: A funeral plan purchased in advance, allowing individuals to make arrangements for their own funeral and cover the costs.

Repatriation: The process of returning a deceased person's body to their home country for burial or cremation.

Scatter tube: A container used to hold and disperse cremated remains in a chosen location.

Sympathy card: A card sent to express condolences and support to the bereaved family.

Unattended Cremation: An unattended cremation is an alternative to other types of a funeral service. There is no service, no hearse or limousines, and typically, mourners don't attend the crematorium and the cremation takes place privately.

Undertaker: An undertaker, also known as a funeral director or mortician, is a professional who assists families in planning and organizing funeral services for their deceased loved ones.

Urn: A container used to hold a deceased person's ashes after cremation.

Viewing: An opportunity for family and friends to see the deceased person before the funeral service, often held at a funeral home or chapel of rest.

Wake: A gathering held before or after a funeral service to remember and celebrate the deceased person's life.

Will: A legal document outlining a person's wishes for the distribution of their assets after death.

Woodland burial: A natural burial option in which a deceased person's body is interred in a designated woodland area, with a focus on environmental sustainability.