Funeral Planning & Arrangements Glossary

Black And White Dictionary

There are lots of terms and expressions that are used often when arranging a funeral, some of which you may not be overly familiar with. To assist, we have provided a brief glossary of some of the more commonly used terms and expressions.

Bespoke funeral arrangements

Arrangements which we tailor to meet your individual needs and preferences.


The establishment, which is registered with the Secretary of State, where the cremation takes place.

Direct cremation

A service without any preceding ceremony. This may involve the taking of the body from the place of death or our premises to the crematorium.


The removal of human remains from the place of burial or entombment.

Green form

A certificate issued by the General Register Office once the death has been officially registered. It gives permission for burial or cremation to take place and should be passed on to the funeral directors.

Pre-paid Funeral

A funeral planned and paid for in advance.

Simple Funeral

As members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, we have a duty to provide a Simple Funeral, if required. The following services are not included: embalming, viewing facilities, provision of a limousine, disbursements. Further detailed terms and conditions can be supplied upon request.

Ashes casket

A container into which cremated remains are placed ready for interment or return, in line with your instructions


The reduction of human remains to basic elements by a process of flame, heat and vaporisation. A cremation may be preceded by a ceremony in a church, other place of worship, the crematorium chapel or any other suitable venue.

Death certificate

A certificate issued by the Registrar of Deaths


This includes a ceremony conducted by a minister or other faith leader, civil celebrant, registrar or other person nominated to lead in a group assembled to pay their last respects. The ceremony can be in a place of worship, crematorium chapel or other place of special meaning and takes place before committal of the human remains. The service includes the removal of the body from the local place of death to our premises or the family home and the subsequent provision of hearse and cortege vehicles for the journey to the ceremony and/or place of committal.

Medical certificate

A certificate usually issued by the regular GP or the doctor in attendance at the hospital or care home. This is needed in order to register the death.


The provision of monumental masonry or some other form of dedication, such as a plaque or tree, dedicated to the memory of the person who has died.

Monumental Masonry

The design, crafting and fitting of a permanent stone tribute or the modification of an existing one.


The transfer of a person who has died to or from an overseas location.


A tall, rounded vase with a base, and often a stem, used for storing the ashes of a cremated person.