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Glossary of Funeral Terms

Funeral & Cremation Terms

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There are 8 names in this directory beginning with the letter A.
Advance Planning
The act of making arrangements for final disposition, including a funeral, cremation, memorial, ceremony or other service/plans prior to death. Advance Planning can involve simply recording one's wishes (preplanning), or making financial arrangements (pre-paying). Also known as "preneed." 
Aerial Scattering
A form of scattering ashes that involves the use of planes, hot air balloons, or other airborne devices to disperse the cremated ashes while in active flight.
Affirmation or Celebration of Life Service
An alternate type of service that is highly personalized and follows no standard set of rules. It may be religious or non-religious, and can vary widely in content and format, depending on the plans and wishes of the deceased and their family.
A term used to refer to the various services (final arrangements) that are available from a funeral home or crematory following the death of a loved one.
Alternative Container
A container made of unfinished wood, fiberboard, pressed wood, or composition materials,which lacks fine finish or ornamentation. Alternative containers are often chosen for cremations due to their combustible nature. Alternative containers may also be the preferred container for direct burials or green burials.
Arrangement Conference
A meeting between the funeral director and the family or representative of the deceased for the purpose of setting up funeral arrangements.
Also known as "cremated remains," the ashes are the material that remains after a body has been cremated.
Following death, an autopsy is a complete examination of the body by a doctor to determine the cause of death.