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Every language is fascinating. Whether French, English, Spanish, Chinese, or Tagalog; the language of a people and place represents the evolution and development of a society. Cremation has been a part of humanity’s history for centuries, and the language of cremation has rich roots in the words spoken by the ancients. For lovers of words, our cremation glossary can be an interesting diversion. But for those seeking to understand cremation, in the effort to make the right end-of-life decisions, our glossary is invaluable.
When cremation is the preferred way of tending to the physical remains, it is necessary that the body be placed in an unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle or enclosure, without ornamentation or a fixed interior lining. Commonly an alternative container, also called a “cremation casket”, is made of heavy cardboard, fiberboard, or pressed wood. It can be decorated by family members prior to the cremation, with drawings or messages of love.
This is a structure in a cemetery, consisting of small vaults or niches for urns containing cremated remains. It is a sanctuary where cremated remains can be placed by a family for long-term keeping.
What are commonly called “ashes”; these are the processed remains of the decedent after completion of cremation.
The reduction of human remains to bone fragments through intense heat, flame and evaporation. For more information on the process of cremation, click here.
See “Alternative Container.”
This is the building or facility which houses the equipment necessary for cremation.
The placing of an urn containing cremated remains into a columbarium, niche, crypt, tomb or ground space. The word can also refer to placing the cremated remains into a cremation urn.
A small compartment or space in a columbarium or other cemetery-based structure, designed for the memorialization and permanent placement of cremated remains.
A casket or casket shell that is available for rental by the authorized representative of the decedent who will be cremated for use during a viewing or funeral ceremony. After the ceremony, the rental casket remains the property of the funeral home.
This is the dispersal of cremated remains. Commonly, the scattering can occur at sea, or by air; a scattering can occur on public or private property but only with express permission of the land holder or owner, or by commingling in a designated area within a dedicated cemetery or other authorized location.
This is a container made from a variety of materials including bronze, ceramic, glass, porcelain, or wood; into which cremated remains are placed. Many are designed in traditional vase-like shapes or square and rectangular cubes. The cremated remains will be returned to the designated family member in a temporary plastic urn, which is fine for families who ultimately plan to scatter the remains in a special location. If the family wishes to keep the remains of their loved one at home, a more elegant urn may be desired.
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