Australian Glossary of Funeral Terms

Arrangement Conference

A meeting in which the Funeral Director gathers with the family of the deceased to make funeral arrangements.

Arrangement Room

A room where the funeral director and the deceased's family meet to make the funeral arrangements


Someone who has suffered loss due to the death of a loved one


Experiencing grief due to the loss suffered by the death of a loved one


A secure stand that a coffin/casket is placed upon for viewing purposes


Placing of remains in an underground chamber, usually in a cemetery; also called ground burial interment. Burial can also be done at sea.


A rectangular container made of wood, metal or plastic into which the body is placed for interment. Caskets can also be referred to as coffins.


A place for the disposition of the deceased. Sometimes an independent facility often attached to a church.

Certified Death Certificate

A certified copy of the original certificate issued by the local government.  It certifies the death of the person aand other details. Certified death certificates are used when making claims for insurance and other death benefits.


A room in which the funeral or memorial service is held. It is often located on the funeral director's premises or at a crematorium.


A person who officiates at a funeral, often non-religous


A body shaped container made of wood, metal or plastic into which the body is placed for transportation and interment.


A structure, similar to a mausoleum, with niches for the placement of cremated remains.ent of cremated remains.

Commital Service

The final portion of the funeral service at which time the deceased is interred or entombed and the last remarks or prayers are said; also referred to as graveside service.


An independent government official who is required to perform an autopsy when the cause of death is unknown.


The reduction of human remains to small bone fragments through the use of intense heat and pulverisation.


A machine which maintains high temperatures used to cremate a body.

Cremation Garden

A dedicated section of a cemetery designed for the burial, scattering or other permanent placement of ashes.

Cremation Permit

A certificate issued by local government authorising cremation of the deceased.


A place for the incineration of the deceased


A building which houses a retort.


A vault or chamber used for keeping remains, often the members of one family.

Death Certificate

A legal document signed by the attending doctor and issed by the government certifying the death of a person and other information

Death Notice

A press annoimcement of the person's death


The person who has died


To remove the remains from their place of interment.


The process of preserving a body by means of circulating or placing preservative and antiseptic through the veins, arteries and body cavities. Embalming or any other artificial preparation of the remains is not permitted by Jewish law.


A person who embalms deceased bodies


The placing of the deceased into a mausoleum


A brief speech/tribute that offers praise and celebrates the life of the person who has passed


An individual or individuals who are appointed to ensure that the wishes of a deceased person are carried out


To disinter. The removal a deceased person from their place of burial

Final Disposition

The final arrangement, generally referring to the decision to choose between burial or cremation

Final Rites

The funeral service

Funeral Arrangements

The arrangements made for the funeral service and its coordination

Funeral Director

A professional who helps families to plan funeral services for their loved ones while honouring the deceased and celebrating a life lived. He co-ordinates legal, spiritual and logistics associated with the funeral.

Funeral Notice

A press announcement about the details of a deceased person's funeral

Funeral Service

A ceremony marking an individual’s death. The funeral service can be a religious or cultural event and helps to honour the deceased. This is part of the funeral that is not the commital or internment


An excavation/dedicated place in the earth for the purpose of burying the deceased.

Grave or Memorial Marker

Commonly referred to as headstones, these are memorials that are usually made of metal or stone which include such information as the name of the individual, date of birth and death,  symbols and words of tribute.


Identifies a grave and the deceased within it. Normall has the name of the person, date of birth and death.Often made of stone.


A specially designed vehicle used for the transporting of the deceased to a cemetry or crematorium.


To bury human remains in the earth in a grave or tomb.


The burial or final placement of the deceased/remains into the grave or the sea


The process of placing the ashes of a deceased person into an urn


A public or private building especially designed for entombment. It is usually a permanent, above ground resting place for the deceased. Typically it will hold several crypts.

Memorial Book

A book that contains the names (sometime the addresses) of mourners attending the funeral.  This is a keepsake for the deceased's family and friends.

Memorial Donation

A memorial contribution specified to a particular cause or charity, usually in lieu of flowers.

Memorial Service

A service conducted in memory of the deceased without the remains being present; also called a tribute service.


A place in which the bodies of persons found deceased are kept until identified and claimed or until arrangements for burial have been made.

Mourning Coach

A vehicle for the use of the immediate family of the deceased to follow the hearse.


A person's nearest relative; the person who hold the responsibility for making decisions for the funeral on behalf of the deceased


A small chamber for the allocation of the cremated remains. A plaque normally identifies the deceased.


A notice in a newspaper or on the internet, publicising the death of a person and giving details of the funeral service the survivors wish to have published.

Order of Service

A booklet that shows what will happen during a funeral


A velvet cloth that is used to cover a coffin or casket during a funeral


Individuals whose duty is to carry the casket when necessary during funeral service.


A measured piece of land in a cemetery in which interment rights are purchased by a family or individual. A plot usually contains two or more graves

Prearranged Funeral

Funeral arrangements completed by an individual prior to his/her death, often funded by insurance or trust.

Preparation Room

A room in designed and equipped for preparing the deceased for final disposition.


Preplanning is the process in which an individual creates their statement of wishes for their final event plan allowing loved ones to focus on celebrating a life lived

Private Service

An invitation only service. This may be held at a place of worship, a funeral home or a family home.


A book made available by the Funeral Director for recording the names of people visiting the funeral home to pay their respects to the deceased. Also has space for entering other data such as name, dates of birth and death of the deceased, name of the officiating clergyman, place of interment, time and date of service, list of floral tributes, etc.


The sending or bringing back a deceased person back tpo their country of origin

Scattering Garden

A dedicated section of a cemetery wherein families can scatter the ashes of their loved ones. Often plaques are available to memorialize the loved ones whose remains have been scattered there.


A linen cloth or sheet used to wrap the the deceased for burial or cremation.


A container, into which cremated remains are placed, made of metal, wood or stone


A burial chamber that is usually located underground


A specified time allowing the family to spend time with theuir loved one before the funeral


A watch kept over the deceased, sometimes lasting the entire night preceding the funeral. Often prayers or shared memories take place during this period


A round floral arrangement


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