Glossary of Terms

Below is a list of terms that we feel are important when it comes to the knowledge about cemeteries. These terms will help you understand the important factors involved in a cemetery.

Ashes or Cremated Remains – the product of reducing the human body through cremation.

Casket – A receptacle of wood, metal or plastic into which the dead human body is placed for burial. Sometimes referred to as “coffin” or “burial case”

Cemetery – An area of ground set aside for burial or entombment of the deceased.

Cemetery Services – Opening and closing graves, crypts or niches; setting vaults and markers; long term maintenance of cemetery grounds and facilities.

Columbarium – a structure with compartments or niches (small spaces) for placement of ashes or cremated remains in urns or other approved containers. It may be outdoors or part of a mausoleum.

Committal Service – The final portion of the funeral service at which time the deceased is interred or entombed.

Cremation – Reduction of the body to ashes by fire.

Crematory – A furnace for cremating remains – a building housing such a furnace.

Crypt – A vault or room used for keeping remains.

Endowment Care Fund – Money collected from cemetery property purchasers and placed in trust for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.

Grave – An excavation in the earth for the purpose of burying the deceased .

Grave Liner – A receptacle made of concrete, metal or wood into which the casket is placed as an extra precaution in protecting the remains from the elements.

Grave or Memorial Marker – A method of identifying the occupant of a particular grave. Permanent grave markers are usually of metal or stone that gives such data as the name of the individual, date and place of birth, date and place of death.

Graveside Service: a service to commemorate the deceased held at the cemetery prior to burial.

Interment: burial in the ground, inurnment, or entombment.

Inurnment: the placing of cremated remains in an urn.

Lowering Device – A mechanism used for lowering the casket into the grave. Apparatus is placed over the open grave, which has two or more straps that support the casket over the opening. Upon release of the mechanism, the straps unwind from a cylinder and slowly lower the casket into the grave.

Mausoleum – A public or private building especially designed to receive full body entombments. A permanent above ground resting place for the dead.

Niche – A hollowed space in a wall made especially (in this connotation) for placing of urns containing cremated remains.

Perpetual Care Fund: Moneys collected from cemetery property purchasers and placed in trust for the miantenance and upkeep of the cemetery. The province monitprs the fund and establishes the minimum amount that must be collected; however, the cemetery is permitted to collect more than the minimum to build the fund. Only the interest earned by such funds may be used for the care, maintenance, and embellishment of the cemetery.

Plot – A specific area of ground in a cemetery owned by a family or individual. A plot usually contains two or more graves.

Pre-need, Pre-arranging, Pre-planning – Planning a funeral in advance of the death, usually consisting of a list of your preferences for funeral arrangements.

Remains – The deceased.

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

Vault – A burial chamber underground or partly so. Also includes in meaning the outside metal or concrete casket container.