Funeral Directing

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Acknowledgment Cards

Cards of recognition sent to friends for kindness shown to deceased's family.

Acolyte

An alter attendant.

Adaptive Funeral Rite

A funeral rite that is adjusted to the needs and wants of those directly involved; one which has been altered to suit the trends of the times

After Care

A call made on the surviving relatives after the funeral service by the funeral director or an assistant.

Altar

An elevated place or structure on which sacrifices are offered or at which religious rites are performed; in the Christian faith,

Ambulance

An automobile properly equipped for transporting the sick or injured.

Apprentice (Trainee Intern)

A person registered for instruction in embalming and/or funeral directing under the supervision of an authorized licensed embalmer and/or funeral director

Archbishop

In the Roman Catholic faith, the head of the archdiocese.

Archdiocese

A geographic grouping of dioceses in the Roman Catholic Faith.

Aron

Hebrew meaning container; a casket made entirely of wood and contains no metal parts.

Arrangement Form

A printed form the funeral director uses in planning the details of a funeral service with the family or friends of the deceased.

Arrangement Room

A private room in the funeral home or mortuary used specifically for the funeral director and the family

Arrangements Conference

The meeting between the funeral director and the client's family during which the funeral arrangements are discussed.

Artificial Grass

An imitation of grass made in mat form and used at the cemetery to cover the earth around the grave.

Autopsy (Necropsy)

The examination of a remains for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of death (post-mortem examination; necropsy).

Bar Minen

Hebrew term for the deceased

Bereavement

That event producing acute deprivation and loss due to death of one in whom emotional capital has been invested.

Bier

(From the old English "bear," a stretcher to convey the remains or casket.) A large structure which can not be collapsed into a smaller size and is used to hold the casket or casketed remains during a funeral ceremony

Bishop

In the Roman Catholic faith, the head of a diocese.

Brother

In the Roman Catholic faith, a man who is a member of a religious order without being ordained or while preparing for ordination.

Burial

Placing of a remains in an underground chamber; earth burial. See Interment.

Burial-Transit Permit (Disposition Permit)

A legal document, issued by a governmental agency, authorizing transportation and/or disposition of a dead human body.

Cadaver

A dead human body intended solely for scientific study and dissection.

Calling Hours (Visiting Hours)

Time at which the family and friends may view the deceased.

Candelabrum

A large ornamental candlestick holder with several branches, and each supporting a candle.

Canopy (Cemetery Tent)

A portable shelter employed to cover the grave area during the committal.

Cantor

A religious singer who assists the clergy; assists the Rabbi in the Jewish faith; assists the Priest in the Eastern Orthodox faith.

Cardinal

In the Roman Catholic faith, a dignity conferred upon Bishops making them Princes of the Church.

Cash Advance

Payment made by the funeral home to another business or person on the family's behalf.

Casket

(From the French "casse," a chest of valuable possessions); a case or receptacle into which human

Casket Bearer (Pallbearer)

One who actively bears or carries the casket during the funeral service and at the committal service.

Casket Selection Room

A room in the funeral home in which caskets are placed for family viewing at the time of arrangements.

Casket Spray

A floral arrangement which is designed to be placed on the top of a casket.

Casket Standard

The stand or support upon which the casket rests.

Catacombs

An underground cemetery for burial purposes.

Catafalque

A rigid movable standard upon which the casket rests during the funeral service and/or while laying in state.

Celebrant

The officiant who celebrates the Mass in the Roman Catholic Church.

Cemetery

An area of ground set aside and dedicated for the final disposition of dead human bodies.

Cemetery Tent

See Canopy.

Cenotaph

(From the Greek "Kenos" (empty) plus "Taphos" (tomb); a monument erected to the memory of the dead, but containing no remains.

Ceremony

Similar to ritual but it may, or may not, have symbolic content.

Ceremony (Ritual)

An instrumental action dealing with death, that is also expressional and that may or may not be charged with symbolic content expressing, among other things, the attitudes of the participants and possible onlookers

Certified Copy of Death Certificate

A legal copy of the original death certificate.

Chancel

The place about the altar of the church, usually enclosed for clergy and other officials; the sanctuary and choir.

Chanting

The singing or intoning of all or portions of liturgical service.

Chapel

A building or designated area of a building in which services are conducted.

Chaplain

An ecclesiastic attached to the military or to the chapel of an institution.

Chevrah Kadisha

Hebrew meaning "Holy Society;" a group of men or women from the Synagogue who care for the dead; they may be referred to by laymen as the washers. in the past, took care of all funeral arrangement and preparations for the Jewish funeral

Christian Burial Certificate

See Christian Burial Permit.

Christian Burial Permit (Priestly Lines: Priestly Letter)

A letter from a Priest stating the eligibility of the deceased for funeral rites according to the laws of the Roman Catholic Church.

Church Truck

A collapsible catafalque employed for church and home funerals.

Cide

Word-ending meaning "to kill."

Clientele

a. Group of clients; b. Those who adhere or resort to a person for professional help and advice.

Code Of Ethics

Self-imposed rules of conduct specific to the group only.

Coffin

A hexagonal or octagonal receptacle, in which human remains are placed for burial or cremation. Anthropoidal in shape.

Columbarium

A structure, room or other space in a building or structure of more durable and lasting fireproof construction containing niches,

Committal

The act of disposition by which human remains are interred whether by burial, entombment, or inurement.

Committal Service

That portion of a funeral service which is conducted at the place of interment or other method of disposal of human remains which implies consignment of Diety for safekeeping

Common Carrier

One who publicly undertakes to transport from place to place for a stated compensation, the property of any person who may request his services up to the capacity of his facilities (airline, train, etc)

Coroner

A public officer whose chief duty is to investigate questionable deaths.

Cortege

The procession of vehicles from the place of the funeral to the place of interment.

Cot

A portable stretcher commonly employed in an ambulance or transfer vehicle for the moving of the sick, injured, or deceased.

Creed

A formal summary of religious belief, a confession of religious beliefs, principles or opinions professed or adhered to.

Cremate/Cremation

(From the Latin "Cremo," to burn). Reduction of human remains to inorganic bone fragments,

Cremation Authorization

A certificate issued by local government giving their permission for cremation of the deceased.

Crematory (Crematorium)

A furnace or retort for cremating dead human bodies; a building that houses a retort.

Cross

An emblem of the church consisting of two plain bars at right angles to each other.

Crucifer/Crossbearer

One who carries the crucifix/cross during an ecclesiastical procession.

Crucifix

A cross with a figure or image representing the body the Christ (Corpus Christi) on it.

Crypt

A chamber in a mausoleum, of sufficient size, generally used to contain the casketed remains of a deceased person.

Deacon

In the Roman Catholic faith, a member of the clerical order (clergy) just below a Priest.

Death Certificate

A legal document containing vital statistic, disposition, and final medical information pertaining to the deceased.

Death Notice

A classified notice publicizing the death of a person and giving those details of the funeral service

Death Rate (Mortality Rate)

The relation or ratio of the number of deaths to the given population, usually stated for a given period.

Deceased

One in whom all physical life as ceased.

Dentures

False teeth.

Diocese

In the Roman Catholic faith, a geographical grouping of Parishes under the jurisdiction of a Bishop.

Direct Disposer

An individual who is registered by a state agency to perform only basic disposition with no accompanying funeral or other service.

Disinter (Exhumation)

To remove from the grave or tomb; to dig up; exhume.

Disposition Permit

See Burial-Transit Permit.

Door Badge

A crepe badge or floral design placed on the door indicating the death of an individual.

Ecclesiastic

Of the church or clergy.

El Malei Rachamin

In the Jewish faith, a memorial service; literally "God full of compassion;" usually the last prayer of the funeral service;

Elegy

A mournful poem or song of lamentation for the dead.

Embalmer

A person, properly licensed, who disinfects, preserves, or restores a dead human body.

Entombment

Placing remains of deceased person in crypt, vault or tomb (in mausoleum).

Epitaph

A commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument.

Escort

To accompany, as a leader of the procession or guardian of the group.

Ethics

The principles of morality including both the science of good and nature of right.

Etiquette

Conventional requirements as to social behavior.

Eucharist

The consecrated elements of Holy Communion.

Eulogy

An oration praising an individual, usually after his death.

Euthanasia

Act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable and distressing disease; mercy killing.

Exhumation

An act of disinterring human remains.

Family Car

An automobile designated for the use of the immediate family of a deceased individual.

Family Room

That portion of the funeral home adjoining the visitation room designed for the privacy of the family.

Fetal Death

Death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother.

Final Commendation

In the Roman Catholic faith, the ending portion of the Funeral Mass.

First Call

The first physical contact made between the funeral director and the family of the deceased.

First Call Vehicle

The automobile generally used for transporting of uncasketed human remains.

Flower Car

A vehicle used to transport floral tributes from the place of service to the place of disposition, without mutilation.

Flower Room

A room in the mortuary for the receiving and caring for flowers sent for funeral service.

Formal Chapel

A service room of a funeral home in which permanent pews or chairs are set up without having to move them for a visitation.

Foyer

See Narthex.

Fraternal

Belonging to a brother; of or relating to a brotherhood.

Funeral Arrangements

The term applied to the completing of the service and financial details of the funeral at the time of need.

Funeral Director

An individual, licensed by a state or states to prepare dead human remains, other than by embalming, for disposition to conduct funeral services and to counsel survivors

Funeral Home

A building designed specifically for the care of the dead and the serving of the family who will arrange the service and ceremonies for the burial of the dead

Funeral Mass

The name of the funeral service in the Roman Catholic Church.

Funeral Service

The rites held at the time of disposition of human remains, with the body present.

Funeralization

A process involving all activities associated with final disposition.

Genocide

Killing of an entire people or nation.

Genuflect

The act of bending the right knee as an indication of reverence.

Grave

An excavation in the earth as a place for interment.

Grave Straps

Webbing or similar material used for lowering the casket into the grave.

Grief

An emotion brought about by separation (death).

Hearse (Funeral Coach)

An automobile designed and used for the conveyance of the casketed remains from place to place.

Hesped

In the Jewish faith, a eulogy or true evaluation of the deceased's life that is a part of the funeral service.

Homicide

Killing of a human being.

Honorarium

An unsolicited gift, usually an honorary payment or reward for gratuitous or professional services.

Honorary Casket Bearers

Friends of the family or members of an organization or group who act as an escort or honor guard for the deceased. They do not carry the casket.

Humanistic Funeral

A funeral service which is devoid of religion.

Humanistic Funeral Rite

A funeral rite that is in essence devoid of religious connotation.

Icon

In the Eastern Orthodox faith, a holy picture; usually mosaic or painted on wood.

Iconostasis

In the Eastern Orthodox church, the partition that extends across the front of the church separating the sanctuary from the solea.

IHS

The first three letters in the Greek word for Jesus.

Immediate Disposition

Any disposition of a human remains which is completely devoid of any form of funeral rite at the time of disposition.

Indigent (Pauper)

Lacking the necessities of life. Needy. Poor.

Infanticide

Killing of an infant.

Informal Chapel

A service room of a funeral home, in which the chairs are removed for the visitation, and then are set up in the room on the day of the service

Informant

One who supplies the vital statistic information concerning the deceased.

Inquest

An official inquiry or examination usually before a coroner's jury to determine the cause of death.

INRI

An abbreviation for the Latin term meaning "Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews."

Inter (Inhume)

To bury in the ground.

Interment (Burial, Inhumement)

The act of placing the dead human body in the ground.

Intestate

To die leaving no valid will.

Inurnment

The act of placing cremated remains in an urn.

Jewish Star

See Mogen David.

Kaddish

In the Jewish faith, a prayer recited for the deceased by the direct mourners (parents, siblings, spouse, children) for the first time

Kever

In the Jewish faith, the grave.

Kevurah

In the Jewish faith, the burial.

Kin

One's relatives collectively; referring to blood relationship (legally the surviving spouse is not a kin).

Kippah

See Yarmulke.

Kneeler

See Prie Dieu.

Kriah

Hebrew meaning rending or tearing; a symbol of grief; a tear in the upper corner of the garment or a tear on a symbolic ribbon which is worn by the survivors

Lectern

A desk so designed to facilitate the delivery of a lecture or sermon.

Levaya

In the Jewish faith, the funeral cortege.

License

An authorization granting permission to perform duties which, without such permission, would be illegal.

Limousine

A motor coach having an enclosed compartment seating seven or more passengers.

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