Funeral Terms Funeral Jargon
Funeral terms / jargon: Prepaid Funeral Review tries to explain some of the commonly used terms in Funeral Jargon. Where a term is used on our enquiry form, the question number is listed by the title in bold green.
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Funeral Term: Autopsy.
An autopsy is an investigation to determine the cause of death when it is unexpected or if the deceased has not seen a doctor close to the time of death. It should not be taken as a sign of suspicious circumstances. It is probable that some delay will occur, and it will not be possible to have a funeral until the Coroners investigations have been completed. More information.
Funeral Jargon: What is embalming? 14.
(opens another page – you may not want to read all of it!) Embalming is needed when the body is to be preserved for viewing by the family.
Funeral Terms: Interment 21
Interment is the act of digging the grave, backfilling it after the burial and making good. It is quite a significant cost of burial.
Funeral Terms: Chapel of Rest. 15
A Chapel of Rest is a dedicated setting in which bodies can be viewed. This is why appointments to view are generally needed so the deceased can be placed in the Chapel of Rest instead of being viewed in rather industrial surroundings with the other trappings of the funeral trade around. Clearly, it costs more to have viewing outside normal office hours as staff have to come in specially to prepare the body and open up.
Funeral Jargon: What is an Obituary?
An obituary is an advert in the local paper that reports the recent death of a person, typically with information about the upcoming funeral if there is time.
Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with help from the funeral director. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.
Funeral terms: Funeral Procession. 1
Sometimes the hearse will go direct to the cemetery or crematorium. This reduces costs. Others prefer for the deceased to leave from the family home with the family following either in their own cars or in the undertakers limousines.
Funeral jargon: Funeral Conductor. 5, 3
The undertaker will generally be willing to conduct a brief service. However, it is more usual for their role to be restricted to the background organisation of the ceremony. Therefore a religious or non religious “celebrant” who may have known the deceased is more common. Such folk normally have to be paid and there is no way of knowing what their fees will be. Typically a sum is set aside towards the cost which may or may not fully cover the fees.
Funeral terms: Church Fees. 2, 3
If a service is conducted in a Church, there will normally be church fees which can be substantial, with extra costs for Choir, Minister, Organist (and burial if in a churchyard). Typically, some allowance is made for each of these where requested. It is generally inflation protected by not guaranteed to cover the full cost which is outside the control of the provider of the prepaid funeral plan.
Funeral jargon: Bearers. 5
Bearers are the people who carry the coffin from the hearse into the church/ cemetery etc. They are usually supplied by the undertaker, but some families prefer to undertake this themselves.
Funeral terms: Transport of Deceased. 1, 18
Some plans allow for the collection of the deceased from the place of death at any time. Others cut the cost by allowing for collection only during office hours. The cost of transport is quite substantial, both to the funeral home and from there to the cemetery, church etc. The longer the trip, the higher the cost. Different plans build in different mileage as standard, but most will accept a lump sum to cover unexpected extras in advance. Alternatively, there may be some extras to be paid at the time of the funeral or shortly thereafter. But at least the main costs will be prepaid.
Funeral Jargon: Hearses and Limousines. 19
It is possible to have special hearses, horse drawn or motor cycle and side-car etc. These will add substantially to the cost and it may not be possible in the future. Perhaps better dealt with by an expression of wishes and an extra sum in the funeral plan calculated to cover the expected cost. Limousines do take the load off the family, but they are far from cheap. Your choice!