Medical Professionals Only
Glossary Of Terms
Arrangement Room: The room where the Funeral Consultant, and the deceased’s family, make arrangements for the funeral.
Autopsy: Medical procedure used to determine the cause of death.
Bereaved: Someone who is experiencing bereavement.
Bereavement: Experiencing grief due to experiencing a loss.
Bier: (Pronounced “beer”).A fixed stand on which a coffin/casket is placed for a viewing. Sometimes a mattress is placed on the bier and the person is viewed as if lying in bed.
Burial: Placing a casket or coffin in a grave (also called interment).
Casket: A rectangular container for holding the body of the deceased. A casket can be made of wood or metal.
Casket/Coffin Flowers: A collection of flowers placed on top of coffin/casket for the funeral service.
Catafalque: A platform sometimes used in funerals on which the coffin/casket stands.
Chapel: A room at the funeral company premises where services are held.
Coffin: A body shaped container for holding the body of the deceased - usually constructed of wood.
Columbarium: A structure with niches (small spaces) for placement of cremated remains in urn containers. It may be outdoors or part of a mausoleum.
Commital Service: The last part of the funeral service that deals with interring or burying the deceased’s body.
Coroner: A government official who may be required to perform an autopsy.
Cortege: The procession of cars led by the hearse which travels from the funeral service to the place of interment.
Cremated Remains: The remains of the body after a cremation.
Cremations: Reduction of the body by fire to ashes and fragments.
Cremator: A furnace used for the cremation process.
Crypt: An above-ground chamber used for the keeping of remains.
Death Certificate: A legal paper signed by the attending physician showing the cause of death.
Deceased: A person who has departed from life.
Embalm: This process preserves a dead body to delay decomposition, enables the body to be presented for viewing and prevents transfer of infections.
Embalmer: Person who embalms.
Entombment: Burial in a mausoleum.
Exhume: To take out of a grave or tomb.
Floral Tribute: Flowers on display at funeral sent out of respect to the deceased by family and friends.
Fully Paid Funeral Plan: Where an individual decides to pre-pay for his/her funeral arrangements prior to death occurring.
Funeral Arrangements: Making the preparations and decisions associated with the funeral.
Funeral Director: The professional who supervises and/or prepares the final disposition and oversees funeral preparations.
Funeral Service: The ceremony conducted immediately before the interment or committal service.
Grave: The space in the earth in a cemetery where the coffin/casket will be placed with the remains of the deceased.
Headstone: An above ground marker that identifies the occupant of a particular grave.
Hearse: The vehicle that carries the casket/coffin from the church or funeral chapel to the cemetery or crematorium.
Interment: Burial in the ground or entombment.
Inurnment: The placing of cremated remains in an urn.
Mausoleum: An above ground building built and designed to receive entombments.
Memorial Book: A book that is available to record names of those who attend the funeral services.
Memorial Service: A service conducted in memory of the deceased without the presence of the remains.
Mortuary: The building used for safe-keeping and embalming of the body of the deceased.
Mourner: A person who attends the funeral out of respect for the family.
Mourning Coach: A car assigned for the immediate family which follows the hearse in the funeral procession.
Niche: A compartment, usually in a wall, in a columbarium or mausoleum which holds cremated remains of the deceased.
Obituary: A notice of death that is usually placed in the newspaper.
Plot: An area of cemetery land that is usually reserved for two or more burials.
Pre-need Arrangements: When funeral arrangements are completed prior to a person’s death.
Remains: The body of the deceased.
Selection Room: A room which holds coffins and caskets for display purposes to allow the family a choice for the deceased.
Urn: A container for the cremated remains of the deceased.
Vault: A grave liner that completely encloses the casket.
Viewing: A time set aside for mourners to visit the deceased in an open coffin to pay final respects.
Vigil: A Roman Catholic service held on the evening before a funeral service.
For Help or Advice on arranging funerals, Please call our free call funeral line.
Please phone our 24 Hour Free Call Assistance 1800 012 011.
Bell Funeral Services provides burial and cremation funeral services in all Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas