It can be difficult to understand what certain words mean in different religions. Here is a simple listing of words associated with funerals and burial rites and what they mean.
Burial: The placing of the casket into the ground done at a cemetery.
Casket/Coffin: The container that holds the deceased for burial.
Cremation: An alternative to burial where the body is burned and the ashes that remain can either be scattered or placed in an urn.
Embalming: Preserving the body of the deceased for viewing.
Eulogy: A personal rememberance spoken at the funeral service, generally by a close friend or family member honoring the deceased
Hearse: Car that carries the casket to the funeral service
In lieu of: In place of, instead of, as “in lieu of flowers please send donations.”
Mass Card: A card indicating when a mass will be said in memory of the deceased. Generally given for Catholic or Christian funerals or memorials.
Obituary: Newspaper listing regarding the passing of the deceased and information regarding the funeral.
Pallbearer: Someone who helps to carry the coffin. Friends or family members may be asked as a way of paying tribute to the deceased.
Shiva: A gathering in the Jewish Faith to mourn the deceased. Takes place in the home and friends and family bring gifts of fruit and sweet foods.
Wake: The event of paying respects to the deceased which takes place in a funeral home or chapel. The deceased may be viewed or the family may wish for a closed casket.