A Guide to Funeral Services Terminology

By: Moles Farewell Tributes
Monday, May 13, 2019

Lynden, WA funeral services include a lexicon of words and terms that most of us don’t use in our daily lives and that we may not know the meaning of. Understanding them will make it easier for us to make sure that the final wishes of our loved ones are communicated effectively so that the funeral home can carry them out. 

vocabulary that is unique to the funeral industry and to the services they provide. It's helpful to know and understand these, especially when grieving families are numb many times when they're making cremations or burial arrangements, and they literally can't take in any new or unfamiliar information. 

Burial is the act of placing a dead body under the ground.  

A columbarium is a free-standing structure or a wall within a mausoleum with niches where cremated remains (cremains) can be stored. Plaques or gravestones are placed in each niche. 

Cremation is the act of incinerating a dead body, and returning what remains – cremains – in a sealed urn to the deceased’s family.  

A crematory is the place where cremations are performed. 

Crypts are burial chambers that are partially or completely underground. Double crypts are designed for two caskets to lie side by side. 

Death is the end of life. 

Donations in memory of deceased people are gifts given to an organization in the name of the deceased. 

Embalming is a process that preserves the body for an extended period of time. It also includes grooming and dressing the body for funeral viewings. 

A full couch casket is a casket that has a single-piece cover that opens fully. 

Funerals are a type of ceremony that honors deceased people.  

A funeral procession refers to the group of mourners in vehicles who follow the hearse to the cemetery where burial will take place. 

Funeral monuments are also known as gravestones, headstones, or grave markers. They include relevant information about a deceased person, including name, date of birth, date of death, and, optionally, epithets.  

Graves are areas of earth that have been dug up as final resting places to bury caskets. Backhoes are used to dig and cover graves, which is why most cemeteries require that caskets be buried in concrete vaults. 

A half couch casket is a casket with a two-piece cover. Only the top half of the casket opens to display the body of the deceased. This is the most commonly-used type of casket for visitations. 

Hearses are specially-designed vehicles that carry caskets from funerals to cemeteries. 

Interment of a casket refers to the burial or placement of a casket into the ground or into a crypt in a mausoleum (an indoor cemetery). 

The interment of ashes refers to burial or storage of cremains in an urn. This might be underground burial or storage in a columbarium. 

Plots are a measured piece of land in a cemetery where someone is buried. 

Prearrangements or preplanning refers to making – and possibly paying for – funeral arrangements before a person actually dies. 

A viewing or visitation is an event, typically taking place just before a funeral service, where mourners can pay their respects to the deceased and offer support and comfort to the deceased's family. 

For additional information about the vocabulary of Lynden, WA funeral services, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 2039 Main St., Ferndale, WA 98248, or you can call us today at (360) 384-1391.  

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