Call 01233 421852
Glossary of terms

We don’t generally consider the funeral process unless we must. We simply don’t like to think about losing someone close to us and what we might need to do at this time of need. This leaves us feeling a little vulnerable and not knowing what things mean can cause sleepless nights. We do encourage our families to plan ahead in terms of funeral care, not necessarily to take out a funeral plan but to have discussions with our loved ones about wishes thus empowering ourselves with more knowledge before we desperately need it and feel helpless.

Below is a useful list of terms aiming to assist you in understanding more about the process:

Practices are different across varying cultures; however, it is usually a ceremony to commemorate the life of a loved one with the burying or burning of the body. This can be religious or non-religious.
Funeral Director
The person who instructs on the funeral day and supports throughout any arranging and organising. A Funeral Directors ideally will assist in all areas of planning a funeral including caring for the person who has died, preparing for a burial or cremation, completing all administration and paperwork and liaising with necessary third-parties. A Funeral Director will also supply funeral vehicles, floristry, order of service stationery and other additional elements.
Funeral Arranger
This is sometimes the same person as the funeral director especially when instructing an independent family firm. This person meets with you to learn your wishes and guides you through arranging the funeral of your loved one and your options.
Funeral Home
The premises of the funeral director. We strongly suggest finding out if your funeral director has a premises and what this includes due to the rising number of ‘internet providers’.
This is usually present at the Funeral Directors premises but sometimes, with larger chains/corporations, this will be a separate building. The mortuary is necessary to care for your loved one that has died including refrigeration.
The ‘old’ term for a funeral director (still used today!)
Chapel of Rest
a place where you can visit your loved one in rest usually available at the funeral director premises (another aspect to consider when choosing your funeral director)
A process whereby the body of the person who has died is preserved. It is very helpful, and sometimes necessary, process for a loved one who needs to be repatriated (travel), visited frequently in the chapel of rest over a longer period of time and sometimes improves this experience for families. It is by no means always necessary.
The transfer of the person who has died to another country.
Floral Tributes
The sending of flower arrangements to commemorate the person who has died or provide comfort and support to the family. This can be highly personal or traditional. We have a flower gallery which assists with this element here.
This is the term used to describe funeral directors that are part of a large chain, such as Amazon or Asda or Sainsburys. The service is different from that or an independent as there are many more staff involved in the process and many more premises used.
This is the opposite of a corporation. Generally, an independent funeral director is owned and run by a family and the service is more personal and often much less expensive.
Someone who carries the coffin, transports the coffin (driving) and supports the funeral director on the day of the funeral
Someone who is paid to meet the family, learn about the person who has died, write the service content and then lead the service on the funeral day. Often, celebrants conduct non-religious funerals but they are also able to include some religious content if desired.
This is a religious equivalent of a celebrant such as a priest or vicar.
The funeral vehicles such as the hearse and limousine or horse-drawn carriage
The vehicle used to transport the person who has died
The vehicle that is used to transport the family to the funeral venue and reception (usually seats up to 7 people)
the part of the service that is now sometimes called ‘memories’ or ‘tribute to…’ and involves a speech that details the life of the person who has died
Order of service
The booklet that is created to include the service contents. This is not always wanted or necessary. Sometimes families prefer a simply memorial card or prayer card.
Direct Funeral
Same as the more familiar term ‘pure cremation’ whereby the person who has died does not have a funeral service but often a memorial service. The body is cremated without a service beforehand and with no mourners present. Sometimes the ashes are present for a memorial service if desired. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘no-fuss funeral’.
The gathering of friends and family to celebrate the life of the person that has died usually with refreshments and drinks sharing memories together at a chosen venue after the funeral service.
Medical Cause of Death Certificate
A certificate issued by the doctor to detail the cause of death and is sent directly to the registrars prior to you making an appointment to register the death of your loved one.
Death Certificate
The document you receive once you have registered and is a legal document that is required by many organisations to confirm death..
Costs involved in the funeral that are out of the funeral directors’ control such as crematoria fees, doctors’ fees, florist fees and minister fees etc…
An announcement of death in a newspaper or website and can include personal details and/or the funeral date, time and location
This is required by law and involves a face-to-face appointment with your local registrar to update government records about the death of your loved one.
A government official responsible for investigating the cause of death if it is unknown or unexpected.
A medical examination sometimes necessary to investigate to cause of death. This process does delay the registration of death by an undetermined amount of time (usually a matter of days).
pic pic
We're available, call us for a quote or some friendly advice
01233 421852

Come & visit


We can come to you


Live chat


Email us

Terms Of Business
SAIF Code Of Practice