Glossary of Funeral Terms

Glossary of Funeral Terms

As the planning begins, you may be introduced to new words and terms that are associated with the funeral planning process. We have provided a quick glossary for your reference.

Arrangement conference - The meeting with the funeral director in which you discuss your wishes for the funeral and the disposition of the body.

Burial - Also called interment, earth burial at a cemetery is the most traditional method for final disposition of the body.

Celebrant - A person who provides personalized services to a family to create a meaningful ceremony or ritual during a life transition.

Columbarium - An above-ground structure for final disposition of cremated remains.

Committal service - A brief graveside ceremony held with the casket or urn present before it is lowered into the ground.

Cremation - A form of disposition that involves reducing the body through intense heat to cremated remains.

Crypt - An above ground burial site in a mausoleum.

Direct cremation - Cremation without a funeral or memorial service.

Embalming - A method of preserving the body for a number of days following the death, allowing the family to view the body and hold the funeral service on a day that is convenient for out-of-town friends and relatives.

Entombment - Placement of the casket in an above-ground structure called a mausoleum.

Funeral - The ceremony that honors the end of a person's life.

Grave liner - An unlined outer burial container.

Honorarium - The fee typically paid to a clergyperson or celebrant for officiating the funeral ceremony and to musicians or soloists for their contributions.

Mausoleum - A small building in a cemetery that is like a burial plot above the ground.

Niche - One of a number of recesses in the wall of a columbarium where the urn containing cremated remains is placed.

Obituary - A notice in the newspaper that announces the death to the community, summarizes the person's life and invites readers to attend the funeral and/or make memorial contributions in the name of the person who died.

Pallbearers - The people who carry the casket from the ceremony to the hearse and from the hearse to the gravesite.

Urn - A small vase-like container specially designed for holding cremated remains.

Vault - A concrete or metal container into which the casket is placed before burial at a cemetery.

Visitation - A scheduled time for family and friends to see the person who died, perhaps for the final time.

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Greenfield, IN 46140

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