Definitions of Common Funeral Home Terminology

At Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, we understand that planning a funeral can be a difficult and emotional process. To help make the process less confusing, we have put together a list of common funeral terminology to help you gain a better understanding.

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can gain insight into common ritual and service options that are available. We are here to help you better understand funeral home terminology, so you and your family can make more informed and meaningful choices.

Commonly Used Funeral Home Terminology

There is a wide range of funeral home terminology that is used during funeral planning. Below is a list of some of the most common terms and their definitions:funeral home terminology

Burial Vault- This is an underground unit used at the cemetery that can be lined and sealed, designed structurally to support the integrity of the grave, preventing collapse when heavy equipment moves across the ground.

Certified Death Certificate- At the time of a person’s death, the local government will issue an original death certificate. A certified death certificate can also be ordered for insurance claims and other official matters. A funeral home can request these documents for the family.

Columbarium- This mausoleum-type building is designed to house cremated remains. 

Committal or Graveside Service- This is the final event of most funeral services that occur at the gravesite or cemetery chapel. This is where prayers, remarks, and military honors are often presented.

Cremation- This is the process where heat and processing are used to reduce human remains to tiny fragments.

Family Room- This is a room that is set aside for the immediate family to use during the funeral service, providing them with privacy. This helps them to preserve privacy at a difficult time.

Final Disposition- The final process chosen for human remains – either burial, entombment or cremation.

Grave Marker or Memorial Marker- Stone or metal installations, usually called a headstone, that display the vital statistics of the deceased.

Interment- The act of burying human remains.

Inurnment- The placing of cremated human remains in an urn into a crypt, niche or other designated place in the cemetery.

Mausoleum- This is an above-ground structure that serves as a final resting place for the deceased.

Memorial Service- Similar to a traditional funeral service, but the body of the deceased is not present.

Outer Burial Container- A structure made of wood, concrete or metal the supports the weight of the earth around the casket when it is underground.

Viewing or Visitation- The remains of the deceased are placed in a visitation room where family and friends can visit and say a private farewell.  If a public visitation is requested by the family, embalming is required for the deceased’s body per state law.

If you are interested in pre-planning your funeral or if would like to learn more about our process and services, please contact Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services today. Our knowledgeable and caring staff will be happy to assist you.