Proper Funeral Terminology

By: Danny Amorucci
Monday, October 30, 2023

Funerals are significant events that require a degree of sensitivity and understanding. To navigate these occasions respectfully, it's essential to use proper funeral terminology. Here, the Willowbrook Cemetery team looks at funerals' key terms and phrases, ensuring you can communicate with empathy and clarity during these challenging times.

Proper Funeral Terminology

Funeral - A funeral is a formal ceremony or service that commemorates the deceased's life. It often includes religious or cultural rituals and provides an opportunity for family and friends to gather and pay their respects.

Memorial Service - A memorial service is similar to a funeral but does not involve the deceased's body. It's held after the burial or cremation and focuses on celebrating the person's life and sharing memories.

Wake - A wake is a gathering where friends and family can view the deceased, offer condolences to the grieving family, and pay their respects. It usually takes place before the funeral or memorial service.

Visitation - Visitation is a scheduled time for family and friends to visit the funeral home or location where the deceased is placed. It allows them to view the deceased and offer condolences.

Viewing - A viewing is a private time for immediate family members to see the deceased before the public visitation or funeral service.

Casket - A casket is a rectangular box that holds the deceased for the funeral service, viewing, and burial.

Urns - Urns are containers used to hold the ashes of a cremated person. They come in various designs and materials.

Cremation - Cremation is the process of reducing the deceased's body to ashes and bone fragments through intense heat.

Embalming - Embalming is the preservation of the deceased's body through chemicals, typically for public viewing or when there is a delay before the funeral.

Graveside Service - A graveside service is a short ceremony held at the burial site. It typically follows a funeral or memorial service.

Pallbearers - Pallbearers carry the casket during the funeral service and to the gravesite.

Eulogy - A eulogy is a speech or tribute that celebrates and honors the deceased's life. It is usually delivered during the funeral or memorial service.

Obituary - An obituary is a written notice that announces a person's death and provides details about their life, including their accomplishments, surviving family members, and funeral arrangements.

Proper funeral terminology reflects your understanding of the occasion's significance and support for the grieving family. For more information on Proper Funeral Terminology, please call Willowbrook Cemetery. We can help you select a calm final resting place for your cherished one at our cemetery. You can contact us via the form or number on this page. 

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