7 Unusual Funeral Terms You May Not Know

People who aren’t involved in the funeral industry may not understand a lot of the terms that come up while they’re planning a funeral or memorial service. To help our neighbors in Marion, Johnson, and Madison Counties navigate this unfamiliar territory, our team at St. Pierre Family Funeral put together a list of 7 unusual funeral terms you may not know.

  1. Preplanning
    An ever-present term in the funeral community, preplanning involves putting your funeral and burial preferences in writing ahead of time. We encourage preplanning a funeral to take the stress of decision-making off of your children and loved ones after you’re gone.  

  1. Eulogy
    You may already be familiar with what a eulogy is, as it’s a common element of many funeral services. A eulogy is a speech written to honor the deceased. Many people confuse a eulogy with an elegy, which is a poem or song performed as a tribute to someone who has died.

  1. Personalization
    Perhaps you already have a personalized computer desktop background or monogrammed bath towels, but did you know you can also personalize a funeral or memorial service? At St. Pierre, we encourage personalization as a way to celebrate each individual’s unique life and personality.

  1. Columbarium
    Most people are familiar with cremation and what it entails. The lesser-known columbarium is a space or room made up of shelves or niches for storing cremation urns. Originally built in the early Roman Empire when cremation was a popular end-of-life practice, this type of storage is gaining in popularity as more people choose cremation over a traditional burial.

  1. Pallbearer
    Originally referring to the cloth draped over a coffin, the term pallbearer refers to the person or people charged with carrying the casket at a funeral.

  1. Honorarium
    Oftentimes, the deceased’s family offers a pastor or clergy member an honorarium for officiating a funeral or memorial service. An honorarium is a payment made to an individual for performing a free service. It is not unusual for an organist or musician who plays at a funeral to also receive an honorarium.

  1. Aftercare
    Grief is an unpredictable facet of loss. Funeral aftercare exists to help people who are grieving the death of a loved one. Aftercare can involve things like counseling, therapy, and grief support groups.

Our compassionate team is dedicated to serving our neighbors throughout the Indianapolis, Greenwood, and Pendleton areas. Feel free to send a message or call with any questions you may have about funerals or funeral-related terms. We are happy to help!