Glossary of Funeral Terms

As found on the Meaningful Funerals Website compliments of the Batesville Casket Company. 

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 in 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 for 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

For more helpful resources please visit: www.meaningfulfunerals.com