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Funeral Terms: A Glossary for Residents in South Charleston, WV

Sometimes, it feels like it is necessary to learn a whole new vocabulary to understand the funeral home industry. If you need to plan a funeral, then it can be helpful to know a few important words and phrases.

Here at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home & Crematorium, our services are available in South Charleston, WV, and the nearby cities. We are working hard to simplify the process as much as possible. Here is an overview of some of the common terms that you might hear from our team:

  • Funeral: People use this word is used in many ways for different types of services. Technically, a funeral is an event to remember the deceased with a casket present. The casket can be either open or closed.
  • Memorial: In comparison, a memorial service can encompass a variety of gatherings. The cremated ashes might be present, or the memorial can be held without any presence of the body of the deceased.
  • Celebration of Life: Some people want to plan an event that will celebrate the person, instead of grieving the deceased. A Celebration of Life is a type of memorial, usually planned as a party or with a festive theme.
  • Interment: The burial of the body is usually called the interment when it is a casket, or an inurment if it is a cremation. Don’t mix this word up with “internment” which means imprisonment. One letter makes a big difference in the meaning of this word!
  • Cremation: The process of using intense heat in a confined chamber to reduce the body to ashes.
  • Crematory: A building designed to complete cremations, with a furnace where the body is placed.
  • Embalming: A service that uses chemicals for preservation purposes. Embalming is not legally required if the family chooses a direct burial or cremation. But, it is often required by the funeral home if a viewing will be scheduled.
  • Viewing: An open casket event when friends and family can see the body.
  • Wake or Visitation: Time when friends and family can meet together before the funeral or memorial. Often, this gathering takes place at the same time as the viewing.
  • Funeral Director: The modern term for undertaker or mortician. This name is used for someone who oversees the responsibility of running a funeral home and supporting funeral arrangements.
  • Bereaved: The family members who share an immediate relationship with the deceased.
  • Mausoleum: A building or structure that holds remains and caskets, usually located on cemetery grounds.
  • Casket: A large case that holds the body for burial. Usually, the casket is a decorative box that is placed in a solid concrete “vault.”
  • Urn: Any container designed to hold remains after cremation.

If you have questions about any part of the funeral process, you are welcome to talk to our experienced team for more information. At Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home & Crematorium, we offer the caring, supportive services that you need during this difficult time. Visit our funeral home at 1118 Virginia St E Charleston, WV 25301. Or, call to schedule an appointment for details about the services that we provide: (304) 342-81351

For more details, you can check South Charleston, WV funeral home.