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296 terms

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.
Liturgical (Eucharist Centered) Worship
A prescribed order or form of worship specific to a particular denomination which will have the Eucharist or Holy Communion as its central elements
Lobby
See Narthex.
Lot
A subdivision in a cemetery which consists of several grave or interment spaces.
Lowering Device
Mechanical device employed to lower a casket, box or vault into the grave.
Malpractice
The failure of a professional person to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or neglect.
Mass
The liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church.
Mass Cards
Cards on which an individual requests the priest to say mass for the soul of the deceased.
Matricide
Killing of one's mother.
Mausoleum
(From Latin and Greek "Mausoleion," the tomb of King Mausolus). A building with several tombs; a building (public or private)
Medical Examiner
A forensically-trained physician whose duty it is to investigate questionable or unattended deaths (has replaced coroner in some states)
Memorial Book
See Register Book.
Memorial Folder (Service Folder)
A pamphlet made available at the funeral service giving details about the deceased and the funeral arrangements.
Memorial Park
A cemetery, or section of a cemetery, with only flush to the ground type markers.
Memorial Service
A service conducted in memory of the deceased without the remains being present.
Memory Picture
An impression indelibly imprinted upon the mind.
Menorah
In the Jewish faith, a candelabrum with a central stem bearing seven candles; it is the oldest symbol in Judaism.
Mogen David (Star of David)
In the Jewish faith, a hexagram formed by the combination of two triangles. May be called the Jewish Star.
Monsignor
An honorary title conferred upon a Priest.
Monument
An erection of stone or other material commemorating the life, deeds or career of some deceased person.
Morgue
A place where dead human bodies are kept pending identification by relatives.
Mortician
Funeral director-embalmer; a coined word to designate the "caretaker" of the dead (most commonly used term: funeral director).
Mortuary
A building designed specifically for the care of the dead and the serving of the family who will arrange the service and ceremonies
Mortuary Law
Laws covering the right of possession and control of dead human bodies, operation of funeral homes,
Mourner
A person in grief because of the death of a person once loved; usually restricted to use in describing the members of the immediate family and relatives
Mourning
A process by which people express their GRIEF during their BEREAVEMENT period.
Narthex (Lobby, Vestibule, Foyer)
The entry way into the funeral home or church.
National Cemetery
A cemetery created and maintained under an Act of Congress for burial of veterans of military service and their family members.
Nave
The seating or auditorium section of church.
Niche
A recess or space in a columbarium used for the permanent placing of cremated remains.
Non-Liturgical (Scripture Centered)
A form or order of worship which has the scriptures as its central element; the actual form or order of the worship service is left to the discretion of the individual church and/or minister
Workshop
service is left to the discretion of each individual church and/or minister.
Non-traditional Funeral
Religious oriented service that follows a more modern interpretation, including favorite music, peoms, and readings
Non-traditional Funeral Rite
A funeral rite which deviates from the normal or prescribed circumstances of established custom.
Nun
see Sister.
Obituary
A news item of the death of a person, particularly a newspaper notice, containing a biographical sketch.
Obsequies
Funeral rites or burial ceremony.
Officiant
One who conducts a religious service or ceremony.
Pall
A symbolic cloth covering placed over the casket.
Pallbearer
Person who carries the casket during its movement within the funeral ceremonial procession (preferred term: casket bearers).
Parricide
Killing of either or both parents.
Paschal Candle
In the Roman Catholic faith, a candle placed near the casket during the Funeral Mass that signifies the everlasting light of Christ.
Pastor
One having spiritual care over a number of people.
Patricide
Killing of one's father.
Perpetual Care
An arrangement made by the cemetery whereby funds are set aside, the income from which is used to maintain the cemetary plot indefinitely
Plot
See Lot.
Podium
A raised platform or stage.
Pope
The head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome.
Postlude
Music played following the service.
Post-Mortem
After death.
Potters Field
A piece of ground reserved as a burial place for strangers and the friendless poor.
Prayer Rail
See Prie Dieu.
Prayer Service
Religious ceremony conducted at visitation or wake.
Pre-arranged Funeral
Arrangements which have been completed for an individual prior to death.
Prefunded Funeral Arrangements
Those funeral arrangements made in advance of need that include provisions for funding or prepayment.
Prelude
Music played prior to the service.
Preparation Room
That portion of the funeral home especially designed and equipped for embalming the dead human remains.
Preplanned Funeral Arrangements
Those funeral arrangements made in advance of need that do not include provisions for funding or prepayment.
Prie-Dieu (Prayer Rail, Kneeler)
A kneeling rail.
Priest
A title conferred by ordination.
Primitive Funeral Rite
A funeral rite which may be construed as being identifiable with a pre-literate society.
Primitive Funeral Rites
Those which may be constructed as being identifiable with a preliterate influence, which predominates the funeral rite.
Procession
The orderly movement of a dead body and of persons and vehicles during the period of the funeral to the place of final disposition; usually following the rites and ceremonies in a church or funeral home to the place of final disposition (furneral procession, cortege)
Processional
The movement at the beginning of the service.
Professional Service
The term applied to the duties which a funeral director and his staff do for their clients as part of their service.
Pyre
A pile of wood on which a dead body is placed for burning (cremation).
Rabbi
A teacher or ordained leader in the Jewish faith.
Reader
One authorized to read the lessons and scriptures in the Church of Christ, Scientist faith.
Receiving Vault
A structure designed for the temporary storage of bodies which are not to be immediately interred.
Reception Room (Foyer)
That portion of the funeral home in which guests or callers are received.
Recession
The movement, in an orderly fashion, at the end of a service.
Recessional
The movement at the end of a service.
Register Book (Memorial Book)
A book or list of those attending the service.
Remains
Body of a deceased person.
Removal
See Transfer of Remains.
Repose
To lay to rest.
Requiem Mass (Mass Of Christian Burial)
Refers to the mass for the dead. Funeral service and/or music for the repose of the soul of the departed (old mass).
Retort
The burning chamber in a crematory.
Revocable Pre-Need
A pre-arranged funeral contract in which the contract may be terminated by the purchaser at any time prior to death with a refund of the monies paid as prescribed by state law
Rite
Any event performed in a solemn and prescribed manner.
Rite/Ritual
The ceremony or ritual that is performed, according to prescribed customs (usually religious), in the burial of the dead.
Ritual (Ceremony)
A kind of instrumental action dealing with death, but is also expressional - that is, it is charged with symbolic content expressing, among other things, the attitudes of the participants and onlookers
Rosary Beads
Beads and a crucifix used as an aid in the recitation of prayers.
Rosary Prayers
Prayers recited in order at a Rosary or Vigil Service.
Rosary Service
A Roman Catholic prayer service for the repose of the soul of the departed.
Rubrics
In Liturgical churches, stated directions in a prayer book or liturgical manual regarding the order of service as approved by the denomination
Sacrament Of Anointing Of The Sick
In the Roman Catholic faith, a sacrament given to those seriously ill or in danger of death to prepare their souls for eternity.
Sacred Heart
In the Roman Catholic faith, a religious picture, usually of Jesus Christ.
Sanctuary
The part of the church about the altar, inside the chancel.
Sarcophagus
An unusually ornate and elaborate casket, usually made of very heavy metal, granite or marble; and body may be placed directly in it, or a casketed body may be placed in one as a repository
Scapular
In the Roman Catholic faith, a piece of cloth or a metal having religious significance usually worn around the neck.
Sect
A body of persons distinguished by peculiarities of faith and practice from other bodies adhering to the same general system.
Secularization
The absence of religious rites at a funeral service (secular service).
Selection Room
That portion of the funeral home which contains caskets and other funeral merchandise displayed for sale.
Sepulcher
From the Latin (sepulcrum): burial place to tomb.
Service Contract (Statement Of Funeral
A document setting forth the items of service to be rendered, merchandise to be furnished and terms of payment.
Service Equipment
Physical equipment used in the rendering of the service.
Service Folder
See Memorial Folder.
Service Room
A room in the funeral home where funeral and memorial services are held.
Sexton
One who is in charge of the cemetery; the caretaker of a church.
Shabbat
The Jewish Sabbath; begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday.
Shipping Case
Container in which the casket is placed for shipment.
Shivah
In the Jewish faith, a seven (7) day mourning period.
Sholoshim
Meaning 30 in the Jewish faith; the 30-day mourning period.
Shomer
In the Jewish faith, a watcher; one who sits with the body until burial.
Shroud
From the English "scrud"; a garment; clothing for the dead (poor usage except for Jewish); clothing for the dead (Jewish); a robe like garment
Sign of the Cross
A symbolic sign of the Cross, made with the right hand.
Sister (Nun)
In the Roman Catholic faith, a woman who is a member of a religious order, especially one bound by vows of chasisty, poverty and obedience
Social Security Administration
A branch of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services which provides benefits for retirement, survivor's insurance, disability, health insurance and death
Solea
In the Eastern Orthodox church, the open area before the altar.
Star of David
See Mogen David.
Stillborn
An infant dead at birth.
Stretcher
A litter, usually of canvas, for carrying disabled or dead persons.
Suicide
To kill oneself intentionally; deliberate and intentional destruction of his own life.
Survivor
One who outlives another person or event.
Synagogue
A Jewish place of worship.
Tachrichim
A hand-sewn white linen shroud in which the deceased members of the Jewish faith are dressed.
Taharah
In the Jewish faith, the ceremony of washing the deceased before the burial; serves as a ritual purification or cleansing of the body and should be performed by the Chevra Kaddisha
Tallith
A prayer shawl worn by men during the morning prayer service in the Jewish faith.
Tehillim
In the Jewish faith, prayers said before the funeral by a group of friends and the shomer. These prayers come from the book of Psalms
Thanatology
The description or study of the phenomenon of somatic death.
Tomb
A general term designating those places suitable for the reception of a dead human body.
Traditional Funeral Rite
A funeral rite that follows a prescribed ritual or ceremony which may be dictated either by religious belief or social custom.
Transcepts
The sides of a Liturgical church in which additional seating is located.
Transfer Of Remains (Removal, First Call)
The moving of the dead human body from the place of death to the funeral home or other designated place.
Transfer Vehicle (First Call Car)
The automobile generally used for transporting the uncasketed dead human body from the place of death to the mortuary.
Transit Permit
The legal document authorizing transportation by common carrier, and disposal of human remains.
Transportation Papers
Permit for removal and other documents necessary for transporting remains by common carrier as prescribed by law.
Transportation Regulations
The rules and regulations imposed by the state board of health governing the shipping of dead human remains, inter and intra-state, and also railroad regulations
Trisagion
In the Eastern Orthodox faith, three short services or blessings that are part of the funeral rite.
Urn
A kind of vase for holding cremains.
Uroxicide
Killing of a wife by her husband.
Vault
A receptacle to receive the casketed remains, providing protection against the elements of the earth; made of concrete, steel, fiberglass or copper
Vestibule
See Narthex.
Vestments
Ritual garments worn by the clergy.
Veteran
One who has served a prescribed period of time with the armed forces and who is no longer an active member of the armed forces.
Veterans Administration
A federal agency that administers benefits provided by law for veterans of the armed forces.
Vigil Lights
In the Roman Catholic faith, set of two candles, one placed at the head of the casket and one placed at the foot of the casket during the visitation period in the home or funeral home
Vigil Service
See Rosary Service:
Visitation (Calling Hours, Visiting Hours)
Time set aside for friends and relatives to pay respect for the deceased prior to the funeral service.
Visitation Couch (Day Bed)
A small bed or couch upon which the remains are placed for private viewing.
Visitation Room
A specially designed room in the funeral home where the remains lie in state from the time of embalming until service, affording complete privacy to family and friends
Vital Statistics
The collection, tabulation, and interpretation of data concerning birth, marriage, divorce, sickness, and death.
Wake
A watch kept over the deceased sometimes lasting the entire night preceding the funeral; a watch kept over the dead; today it takes place of visitation, calling hours or shiva, Prayers and scripture reading may be part of the wake
Wake Service
In the Roman Catholic faith, a prayer or scripture service usually held at the funeral home the evening before the Funeral Mass.
Yahrzeit
In the Jewish faith, the anniversary of the death.
Yarmulke (pronounced yamaka)
In the Jewish faith, the skull cap worn by the men at temple services and funeral services.
Yizkor
In the Jewish faith, a memorial service recited four times a year.