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Funeral Service Glossary - Funeral Service

After Care: after care programs provide grief support, education, and resources to families affected by a death of a loved one; considered by some to be an altruistic extension of the services a funeral home provides at a time of need.
Casketing: placing of the body in the casket upon completion of embalming, dressing and cosmeticizing.
Committal Service: the final portion of the funeral service at which time the deceased is interred or entombed.
Cortege: the funeral procession.
Cosmetology: utilization of cosmetics to help restore a life-like appearance to the deceased.
Direct Disposition: the disposition of human remains without a formal viewing or funeral ceremony.
Embalm: the process of preserving a body by means of circulating preservative and antiseptic through the veins and arteries.
Embalming Fluid: liquid chemicals used in preserving a body.
Embalming Table: an operating table usually constructed of metal with a porcelain surface upon which the remains are placed for embalming.
Eulogy: a brief speech that offers praise and celebrates the life of the person who has died.
Final Disposition: the last process for the remains.
Final Rites: the funeral service.
First Call: the initial visit of the funeral director to the place of death for the purpose of removing the deceased and to secure certain information needed immediately.
Funeral Arrangements: the funeral director's conference with the family for the purpose of completing financial and service details of a funeral.
Funeral Service: 1.) the profession which cares for the deceased and their family; 2.) the religious or other rites conducted immediately before final disposition of the body.
In State: the custom of availing the deceased for viewing by relatives and friends prior to or after the funeral service.
Memorial Service: a religious service conducted in memory of the deceased without the remains being present.
Mortuary Science: part of funeral service profession that deals with proper preparation of human remains for final disposition.
Obituary: notice of death that contains biographical details of the deceased; usually placed in the newspaper, and/or on the Internet.
Private Service: this service is by invitation only and may be held at a place of worship, a funeral home or a family home.
Procession: the vehicular movement of the funeral from the place where the funeral service was conducted to the cemetery. May also apply to a church funeral where the mourners follow the casket as it is brought into and taken out of the church.
Remains: the deceased.
Restorative Art: derma surgery – the process of restoring distorted features by employing wax, creams, plaster, etc.
Rigor Mortis: rigidity of the muscles which occurs at death.
Spiritual Banquet: a Roman Catholic practice involving specific prayers, such as Masses and Rosaries offered by an individual or a group for a definite purpose.
Viewing: when the deceased is available to be visited and seen by friends and relatives before or after the funeral service
Vigil: a Roman Catholic religious service held on the eve of the funeral service.
Visitation: an opportunity for survivors and friends to view the deceased in private, usually in a special room within the funeral home.
Visitation Room: room in the funeral home where the body lies before the funeral service for people to view the deceased.
Wake: a watch kept over the deceased, sometimes lasting the entire night preceding the funeral.