Glossary of Terms

Arrangement
The time when the family gets together with the funeral consultant to organise a funeral that meets their needs and the wishes.

Autopsy/Post Mortem
Medical procedure used to determine the cause of death.

Bereaved
Someone who is experiencing a loss.

Burial
Placing a casket or coffin into an earth grave (also called interment).

Casket
A rectangular container for the body of deceased. A casket can be made of wood or metal.

Catafalque
A platform in a chapel on which the coffin/casket stands.

Celebrant
An individual who officiates at a funeral, generally they have been to see the family and will speak of the deceased on behalf of the family or just support the family who wish to speak.

Chapel
A room at the funeral home premises where services are held.

Coffin
A body shaped container for the body of the deceased, usually made of wood.

Clergy
An officiant from a Church who will speak of the deceased, offer a prayer and words of committal.

Committal
The last part of the funeral service whereby the final words are said by the officiant, whether a cremation in a chapel or a burial in a cemetery

Coroner
A government official who may be required to perform an autopsy to determine cause of death

Cortege
The procession of cars led by the hearse which travels from the funeral service to the cemetery.

Cremated Remains
The remains of the body after a cremation, sometimes called ashes.

Cremator
A furnace used for the cremation process

Death Certificate/Doctors Papers
A legal paper signed by the attending doctor stating the cause of death. This certificate is given to the funeral home.

Certified Death Certificate
This certificate is generated by Births, Deaths and Marriages from the information the funeral home has gathered from the family and this is then sent to the family.

Death Notice / Obituary
This is a notice advising people of the death of an individual and is placed in the newspaper, usually the main notice is from family and may contain a few personal details.

Deceased
A person whose life has been pronounced extinct by either a doctor or coroner.

Entombment
Burial in a mausoleum.

Exhume
To remove the coffin and body from a grave.

Floral Tribute
Flowers displayed at the funeral, sent by family and friends out of respect to the deceased.

Embalming
This is the process of chemically treating a dead body to delay the decomposition of the body, restore it to an acceptable physical appearance and reduce the presence and growth of bacteria.

Funeral Consultant
The professional who assists the family in making their arrangements and ensuring all wishes are carried out

Funeral Service
The formal ceremony conducted immediately before the burial or committal service.

Funeral Notice
This notice is placed in the paper and advises relatives and friends details of the funeral, such as where and when.

Grave
The site in the cemetery where the coffin/casket containing the deceased will be placed.

Hearse
A vehicle that carries the casket/coffin from the church or funeral home to the cemetery or crematorium.

Interment
Burial of either coffin/casket or cremated remains into the ground or entombment.

Life Celebration
A DVD presentation of pictures of the deceased, played to music.

Mausoleum
An above ground building built to entomb coffins, caskets or cremated remains.

Memorial Book
A book that is at the funeral service for all attendees to sign as a record for the family

Memorial Service
A service that is conducted without the deceased remains present, but held in memory of, this occurs mostly when someone has donated their body to science.

Monument / Headstone
A marker that lies at the head of the grave that names the occupant/s of the grave.

Mortuary
The building where the deceased are prepared and embalmed and kept till the funeral.

Mourner
Someone who attend s the funeral out or respect for the deceased and their family.

Pre-paid Funeral Plan
Where by an individual makes funeral arrangements and pays for the funeral prior to their death.

Selection Room
A room where coffins and caskets are displayed for selection by families.

Urn
A container for holding the cremated remains (ashes) of the deceased.

Viewing
The time set aside for family and friends to view the deceased, spend some time and pay their final respects

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