A glossary of terms used by death care industry professionals:

Alternative Container
An unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle or enclosure, without ornamentation or a fixed interior lining, which is designed for the encasement of human remains and which is made of fiberboard, pressed wood, composition materials (with or without an outside covering) or like materials.

A structure consisting of small vaults or niches for urns containing cremated remains. An area where cremated remains can be placed by a family for long-term keeping.

Cremated remains
The remains of the decedent after completion of cremation and processing.

The reduction of human remains to bone fragments through intense heat, flame and evaporation.

Cremation casket
A special casket designed to be used when the final disposition of the remains is cremation. The casket may be used for visitation and/or the funeral ceremony, and it is cremated with the decedent.  An ordinary fiberboard is usually used by cremations that are entrusted to Internet Mortuary Services.

A building or facility that holds the equipment necessary for cremation.

The placing of an urn containing cremated remains into a columbarium, niche, crypt, tomb or ground space. May, at times, refer to placing the cremated remains into a cremation urn.

A compartment or cubicle for the memorialization and permanent placement of cremated remains. Often part of a Columbarium.

Rental casket
A casket or casket shell that is available for rental by the authorized representative of the decedent who will be cremated for use during a viewing or funeral ceremony. After the ceremony, the rental casket remains the property of the funeral home and the decedent is placed in an alternative container for cremation. We do not recommend this expense but many of our providers can provide this service if it is needed or desired by the next of kin. This option will add to the cost.

The authorized dispersal of cremated remains that have been removed from their container at sea, by air, on public or private property but only with express permission of the land holder or owner, or by commingling in a designated area within the dedicated cemetery or other authorized location, including the mixing of cremated remains with, or placing them on top of, the soil or ground cover.

A container made from a variety of materials including, but not limited to, bronze, ceramic, glass, porcelain, wood or other materials, into which cremated remains are placed. Many cremation urns are designed in traditional vase-like shapes or square and rectangular cubes.

We offer a plastic utility urn with each cremation service provided by the cremation provider. This urn is usually made of black or brown plastic. The urn usually is wrapped in white paper and has the name of the person cremated on the front. Inside the paper is a flip top plastic urn. The urn is often given to the next of kin inside a fiberboard box that contains the plastic utility urn. This urn is suitable for burial or storage at home. If the remains are to be scattered or buried, there is no need for any additional urn purchases. If the cremains are to be displayed at home or in a more formal setting, a more formal and nicer urn may be desired. This can be discussed with the Internet Mortuary Service personnel before, during or after the cremation process. We usually do not promote the use of fancy urns for housing of cremated remains in the families possession. Urns can also be built, just as caskets can be. There are plans for making urns of clay, pottery and wood on the Internet. We do have urns for sale and we can send you a catalog. We have plans to put urns up an associated  website in the near future.

The above list is not inclusive of all the terms use by funeral directors.  This list is a beginning in understanding the language of funerals and cremations.

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