Cremation and burial have been a part of humanity’s history for centuries. For lovers of words, our glossary can be quite interesting. But for those seeking to understand cremation and burial, in the effort to make the right end-of-life decisions, our glossary is invaluable.


When the family is present at the start of the cremation process.

Alternative Container

When cremation is chosen as the final disposition option, it is necessary that the body be placed in an unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle, without ornamentation or a fixed interior lining. Commonly an alternative container, also called a “cremation casket” or cremation container, is made of heavy cardboard, fiberboard, or pressed wood.


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.

Corrugated Cremation Container

See alternative container. This is the type of alternative container used for our cremations.

Cremated Remains

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.

Cremation Casket

See “Alternative Container.”


This is the building or facility which houses the equipment necessary for cremation.

Direct Burial

Burial or entombed without a public service or gathering. Typically, the body is not embalmed.

Direct Cremation

Cremation without a public service or gathering prior to cremation.

Immediate Burial

See Direct Burial


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.

Memorial Service

A service outisde of the funeral home to celebrate, honor, and remember the life of the deceased after the cremation or burial has taken place. The cremains may or may not be present at a memorial service.


A small compartment or space in a columbarium or other cemetery-based structure, designed for the memorialization and permanent placement of cremated remains.



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 often the container of choice 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, they may want to consider purchasing an urn.


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244 8th Avenue NW, Glen Burnie, MD 21061

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