Funeral Speak Glossary- Common Terms
Some of the terminology you may hear at the funeral home or crematory
- Cremation: the process in which a body is reduced to its basic elements in a short period of time using intense heat and evaporation to prepare a body for final placement and memorialization
- Crematory: the location where the cremation process takes place. This location is sometimes part of the funeral home or cemetery and sometimes off-site in a separate location. The crematory uses a machine called a retort where the actual cremation takes place.The body is place in a combustible container, usually cardboard or wood and takes two to three hours to complete at an average temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The process results in the complete combustion of a body's organic materials. The remaining fragments are the inorganic materials that comprise a body's bone structure .
- Cremains: Funeral home speak for ashes. Following the cremation process, the remaining bone fragments are reduced to a uniform consistency and size. Cremains of an average size adult weigh between three and nine pounds and take up a volume of approximately 200 cubic inches. Cremains are similar in color and consistency of crushed sea shells or fine gravel. The cremains or ashes or sealed in a plastic liner and then placed in the urn of your choice.
- Final Placement of the cremation urn or keepsake: Refers to where and how the urn is permanently placed.
- Interment is funeral home jargon for burial. Some cemetery locations require a burial vault or liner and serves the purpose of containing and protecting the urn and stabilizing the burial site by supporting the weight of the earth around the urn. Most urn vaults are constructed of steel or heavy duty polymer materials.
- Niche Placement: Niches are designed in many different dimensions in order to accommodate a variety of urn sizes, the urn is placed in a small covered space above ground and may have glass fronts so that the urn is visible or a solid front such as stone or bronze and the urn will not be visible after placement.
- Columbarium: Is a unit containing multiple niches with arranged in horizontal and vertical rows. Columbarium's are located in cemeteries, churches, and mausoleums.
- Cemetery Lawn Niches are specially designed units that are similar to upright monuments made of granite or marble with compartments to hold the urn or urns.
- Many of our clients choose home placement, which is simply keeping the urn in the home of the family or friends.
- Keepsakes: Miniature urns or jewelry designed to hold a small portion of ashes, lock of hair or crushed flowers. Perfect for families that plan to scatter or share portions.