Important Funeral Terms You Should Know

Here at Simple Cremation, we understand that many people aren’t aware of how much goes into planning cremation and a memorial service until a loved one unexpectedly passes away. Our staff of experts can walk you through the process every step of the way. As an online cremation service, we are able to help you plan everything from the convenience of your home.

Losing someone close to you can be confusing and stressful so we strive to make planning simple and meaningful. This is why the staff at Simple Cremation has come together to create this glossary list of funeral terms. While this doesn’t cover every term you need to know, we have highlighted a few of the most important terms you may be unfamiliar with. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about cremation planning, we encourage you to reach out and contact us.

Essential Funeral Terms A – Z

●Ashes: this is a term used by the general public more than the funeral professionals who tend to use the term ‘cremated remains’. Put simply, Ashes are the cremated remains of the deceased. Resembling a gray powder similar in texture to sand, ashes are the bone matter left behind after the cremation is complete. Ashes can be scattered, preserved in an urn, or incorporated into jewelry for close friends and family members.

●Burial: the act of placing a body in a grave as a traditional ritual. Often, a burial is accompanied by a funeral service to honor the deceased. After the burial, a headstone or special marker is erected with the person’s name, birth date, and other personal information for future generations to visit.

●Columbarium: a structure, room, or pace within a mausoleum or other building which contains niches (spaces) used to hold a cremation urn.

●Cremation: the process of placing a person’s remains in a simple casket or another container, which is then incinerated at a crematory. The cremated remains are then given to the closest family members.

●Cremation Jewelry: charms, pendants, and other jewelry items that are all or partially hollow so that a small amount of cremated remains can be placed within the item. Cremation jewelry can be made of stainless steel, plastic, sterling silver, gold, or other precious metals and will vary in size, design, and personalization options.

●Crypt: a chamber in a mausoleum that is generally used to contain a casket.

●Death Certificate: a legal document containing vital statistics, disposition, and final medical information pertaining to the deceased. The death certificate is created by your funeral director, sent to the doctor for medical information, and filed with the State of Texas before they are printed and made available to the surviving family.

●Eulogy: a speech or oration praising the decedent that is designed to celebrate their life and includes information usually also found in the obituary. A eulogy is usually given by a close family member as part of their funeral or memorial service.

●Funeral Director: an individual who is licensed through their state to engage in or conduct: preparing or embalming a deceased human body, maintaining or operating a funeral establishment, assisting with final arrangements and disposition of human remains.

●Funeral Service: the rites held at the time of disposition. A traditional ceremony to honor someone who has passed away with their body present. This can take place at a funeral home or the venue of your choosing.

●General Price List (GPL): a printed list of goods and services offered by your funeral provider with retail prices.

●Informant: the person who supplies the vital statistical information for the death certificate and is usually also the decedent’s legal next-of-kin.

●Mausoleum: a free-standing, enclosed building or structure that contains space for a casketed body. Mausoleums are typically meant for families who want to be buried in the same space.

●Medical Examiner: a forensically trained physician whose responsibility is to investigate questionable or unattended deaths. A medical examiner will frequently perform an autopsy as part of their investigation as well as run toxicology and other lab work.

●Memorial Service: similar to a funeral service, a memorial service occurs in the venue of your choosing to honor the passing of a loved one. However, at a memorial service, the body is not present.

●National Cemetery: a cemetery designated for US Veterans and eligible family members which is created and maintained by the Veterans Administration. Committal services with military honors can be held at a National Cemetery after the burial has been arranged through the National Scheduling Office.

●Obituary: an article that reports on the death of a person. It normally includes important details about the person’s life and upcoming funeral or memorial service. Obituaries can be written and shared in the local newspaper and online sources.

●Social Security Administration: a branch of the US Health and Human Services that provides retirement benefits, disability benefits, health insurance, and death benefits.

●Urn: a secure container with a cover used to hold the cremated remains. While a traditional urn has a narrow neck and rounded body, the shape, color, and style of the container can vary and may also be personalized with an engraving of the decedent’s name, date of birth, date of death, or other details.

Want to learn more? Connect with Simple Cremation directly by reaching out online or over the phone. Our caring staff is ready to help with your cremation planning.


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