Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

As you start the planning process, you may be introduced to new words and terms that are associated with the cemetery and funeral planning process. We have provided a quick glossary for your reference. Please contact us if we may be of any assistance to you.

Arrangement Conference – The meeting with the cemetery advisor or funeral director in which you discuss your wishes for cemetery and funeral needs and options. This conference can be for at the time of need or for Advance Planning.

Benches – a bench marks the gravesite that can hold cremated remains and as a Memorial or a Memorial Bench without the actual urn or cremated remain placed, offering a dedication to a loved one.

Burial – Also called interment, earth burial at a cemetery is the most traditional method for final disposition of the body.  “Burial Space” refers to a Grave space, Crypt space or Niche.  

Celebrant – A person who provides personalized services to a family to create a meaningful ceremony or ritual during a life transition.

Columbarium – An above-ground structure for final disposition of cremated remains.

Committal service – A brief ceremony held with the casket or urn present before it is lowered into the ground, placed in a mausoleum or niche. 

Cremation – A form of disposition that involves reducing the body through intense heat to cremated remains.

Crypt – An above ground burial site in a mausoleum.

Direct Burial – Burial without a viewing, funeral or memorial service.

Direct Cremation – Cremation without a funeral or memorial service.

Embalming – A method of preserving the body for a number of days following the death, allowing the family to view the body and hold the funeral service on a day that is convenient for friends and relatives.

Entombment – Placement of the casket in an above-ground structure called a mausoleum.

Funeral – The ceremony that honors the end of a person’s life.

Grave liner – An unlined, unsealed outer burial container.

Mausoleum – A small building in a cemetery that is like a burial plot above the ground.

Marker – (Tombstone, Monument, Memorial, Headstone) An identifying marker placed on a grave, mausoleum or niche, and inscribed with names, dates and endearment or in memory of the deceased. 

Niche – A space in a columbarium or other structure or space where the urn containing cremated remains is placed.

Obituary – A notice online or in the newspaper that announces the death to the community, summarizes the person’s life and invites readers to attend the funeral and/or make memorial contributions in the name of the person who died.

Lawn Crypt – burial space in a pre-placed vault, either side by side or multiple depth, covered by the earth. 

Pallbearers – The people who carry the casket from the ceremony to the hearse and from the hearse to the gravesite.

Preneed Arrangement – (Advance Planning) planning a funeral, cemetery and recording vital information in advance of a death. 

Family Memorial Estates – A designated area which is outlined for in-ground or above-ground casket or urn placement.  Typically planned for more than one person.  

Urn – A small vase-like container specially designed for holding cremated remains.

Vault – A concrete, polypropylene or metal container for the enclosure of a casket or urn, is placed before burial at a cemetery.

Visitation – A scheduled time for family and friends to see the person who died, perhaps for the final time.

Information listed above is for general purposes only to assist in understanding the basics of common items. Click here to download the rules, regulations, and definition of terms for all Washington Park Cemetery Association properties.

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Washington Park Cemetery Association is an ICCFA MemberMember, Indiana Cemetery AssociationHave the Talk of a Lifetime