Sympathy Glossary

Sympathy Glossary

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

Interment: Burial

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.

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