Information is power. When you’re planning a funeral, understanding some of the phrases and terms from the industry can help you make decisions. You won’t be so overwhelmed with unfamiliar expressions at a time when your emotions are running high. Here are some key terms that you might hear when you’re talking to the funeral home.
- Aftercare – resources provided to the family for after the funeral service, such as grief counselors or support groups.
- Burial – the act of burying the deceased.
- Celebration of life – a non-traditional service that is highly personalized to the individual. You don’t necessarily have to hold the service in a church or the funeral home.
- Cemetery services – services provided by the cemetery as part of the funeral, such as opening and closing the grave, placing a headstone or long-term maintenance of the grave.
- Cremation – the process in which a body is reduced to ashes in a high-temperature environment.
- Direct disposition – an option in which the deceased’s body is directly buried or cremated without a service first. You can always hold a service later.
- Epitaph – a short quote that is inscribed on a headstone or grave marker.
- Eulogy – a speech given at a funeral, whether it’s prewritten poetry, religious passages or just sincere words spoken from the heart.
- Green burial – an earth-friendly option in which sustainability is emphasized. If this is important to you, discuss the options in Canada for a green burial with your funeral director.
- Interment – the act of burying your loved one’s remains. An inurnment refers to placing the cremated remains in the urn.
- Officiant – the person who leads the service. Although the officiant of a funeral is traditionally a religious leader or priest, you may hire an officiant or ask a loved one to lead the service.
- Statement of funeral goods and services – a list of everything you’ve decided to purchase for the funeral or cremation services.
Planning a Funeral or Memorial Service
The funeral director is a good resource to help you plan the funeral that suits your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to get the information you need.