Aftercare – An organized way to maintain a helpful and caring relationship with families. Aftercare services include grief and bereavement assistance to our families and our communities.
Alternative Container – An unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle without ornamentation, often made of fiberboard, pressed wood or composition materials, and generally lower in cost than caskets.
Arrangement Room – A room of the funeral home used to make the necessary funeral arrangements with the family of the deceased.
Bereaved – The immediate family of the deceased or suffering from grief upon the death of a loved one.
Burial – Placing of a dead body in an underground chamber – earth burial- interment
Burial Garments -Wearing apparel made especially for the dead.
Casket – A receptacle of wood, metal or plastic into which the dead human body is placed for burial. Sometimes referred to as “coffin” or “burial case”
Casket Coach – Hearse – A motor coach designed and used for the conveyance of the casketed remains from the place the funeral service is conducted to the cemetery. Also known as a Funeral Coach.
Cemetery – An area of ground set aside for burial or entombment of the deceased.
Certified Death Certificate – A legalized copy of the original certificate, issued upon request by the local government for the purpose of substantiating various claims by the family of the deceased such as insurance and other death benefits.
Chapel – A large room of the funeral home in which the farewell service is held.
Committal Service – The final portion of the funeral service at which time the deceased is interred or entombed.
Coroner – A public official and in some cases a constitutional officer whose duty it is to investigate the case of death if it appears to be from other than natural causes, or if there was no physician in attendance for a long time prior to death.
Cortege – The funeral procession.
Cremation – Reduction of the body to ashes by fire.
Crematory – A furnace for cremating remains – a building housing such a furnace.
Crypt – A vault or room used for keeping remains.
Death Certificate – A legal paper signed by the attending physician showing the cause of death and other vital statistical data pertaining to the deceased.
Death Notice – That paragraph in the classified section of a newspaper, or on the Internet, publicizing the death of a person and giving those details of the funeral service the survivors wish to have published. Most such notices list the names of the relatives of the deceased.
Disposition – The placement of cremated or whole remains in their final resting place.
Embalm – The process of preserving a dead body by means of circulating preservative and antiseptic through the veins and arteries.
Embalmer – One who disinfects or preserves dead human bodies by the injection or external application of antiseptics, disinfectants or preservative fluids; prepares human bodies for transportation which are dead of contagious or infectious diseases; or uses derma surgery or plastic art for restoring mutilated features.
Embalming Fluid – Liquid chemicals used in preserving a dead body.
Endowment Care Fund – Money collected from cemetery property purchasers and placed in trust for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.
Eulogy – A brief speech that offers praise and celebrates the life of the person who has died.
Final Rites – The funeral service.
Funeral Arrangements – Funeral director’s conference with the family for the purpose of completing financial and service details of a funeral.
Funeral Director – A professional who prepares for the burial or other disposition of dead human bodies, supervises such burial or disposition, maintains a funeral establishment for such purposes, counsels with survivors. Synonym: mortician, undertaker.
Funeral Home – A building used for the purpose of embalming, arranging and conducting funerals.
Funeral Service – 1) The profession that deals with the handling of dead human bodies; 2) The religious or other rites conducted immediately before final disposition of the dead human body.
Grave – An excavation in the earth for the purpose of burying the deceased .
Grave Liner – A receptacle made of concrete, metal or wood into which the casket is placed as an extra precaution in protecting the remains from the elements.
Grave or Memorial Marker – A method of identifying the occupant of a particular grave. Permanent grave markers are usually of metal or stone that gives such data as the name of the individual, date and place of birth, date and place of death.
Honorary Pallbearers – Friends or members of a religious, social or fraternal organization who act as an escort or honor guard for the deceased. Honorary pallbearers do not carry the casket.
Inter – To bury a dead body in the earth in a grave or tomb.
Lowering Device – A mechanism used for lowering the casket into the grave. Apparatus is placed over the open grave, which has two or more straps that support the casket over the opening. Upon release of the mechanism, the straps unwind from a cylinder and slowly lower the casket into the grave.
Mausoleum – A public or private building especially designed to receive full body entombments. A permanent above ground resting place for the dead.
Medical Examiner – A government official, usually appointed, who has a thorough medical knowledge and whose function is to perform an autopsy on bodies dead from violence, suicide, crime, etc., and to investigate circumstances of death.
Memorial Service – A religious service conducted in memory of the deceased without the remains being present.
Morgue – A place to where bodies found dead are removed and exposed pending identification by relatives.
Mortician – See funeral director.
Mortuary – A synonym for funeral home – a building specifically designed and constructed for caring for the dead.
Niche – A hollowed space in a wall made especially (in this connotation) for placing of urns containing cremated remains.
Obituary – A notice of the death of a person usually placed in a newspaper, or on the Internet, containing a biographical sketch.
Pallbearers – Individuals whose duty is to carry the casket when necessary during funeral service. Pallbearers in some sections of the country are hired and in other sections are close friends and relatives of the deceased.
Plot – A specific area of ground in a cemetery owned by a family or individual. A plot usually contains two or more graves.
Pre-need, Pre-arranging, Pre-planning – Planning a funeral in advance of the death, usually consisting of a list of your preferences for funeral arrangements.
Procession – The vehicular movement of the funeral from the place where the funeral service was conducted to the cemetery. May also apply to a church funeral where the mourners follow the casket as it is brought into and taken out of the church.
Register – A book made available by the funeral director for recording the names of people visiting the funeral home to pay their respects to the deceased. Also has space for entering other data such as name, dates of birth and death of the deceased, name of the officiating clergyman, place of interment, time and date of service, list of floral tributes, etc.
Remains – The deceased.
Reposing Room – A room of the funeral home where a body lies in state from the time it is casketed until the time of the funeral service.
Urn – A container into which cremated remains are placed, made of metal, wood or stone.
Vault – A burial chamber underground or partly so. Also includes in meaning the outside metal or concrete casket container.