Vocabulary in the Funeral Industry
A little vocabulary…
Aquamation: Process consisting of dissolving body tissue in water as opposed to cremation. The solid remains are then reduced to ashes or placed in an urn that may be buried in a cemetery or kept in a columbarium.
Cemetery: A place of burial for human remains.
Cinerary urn vault: A vault for one or several cinerary urns installed in the ground.
Columbarium: An indoor or outdoor vault lined with niches for one or several cinerary urns.
Concession: The right to be interred in a cemetery’s burial site, a mausoleum or a columbarium (plot, niche, cinerary urn vault or crypt).
Concessionaire: An individual who holds the rights conferred by a concession.
Cremation: Act of reducing human remains to ashes by burning them. The ashes are then kept in an urn that can be buried in a cemetery, placed in a columbarium or retained by relatives.
Crematorium: A place where cremations are performed.
Crypt: A recess in a wall designed for one casket containing the remains of a deceased person.
Embalmment (Thanatopraxy): Art and science of preserving human remains by treating them to forestall decomposition, in order to keep them suitable for public display at a funeral.
Grave: An excavation for burial of a body or ashes located in a cemetery.
Mausoleum: A funerary building containing crypts and a columbarium containing niches and, if applicable, cinerary urn vaults.
Niche: A space in a columbarium designed for one or several cinerary urns.
Plot: Site devoted to the burial of bodies or ashes in a cemetery.
Reliquary: Receptacle designed to contain part of the ashes of a deceased.
Sepulture: A place where human remains are placed (plot, niche, cinerary urn vault or crypt).
A bit of vocabulary: Proofs of death
Attestation of cremation: The attestation of cremation confirms that the crematorium has cremated the remains of the deceased. This document may be required before proceeding with a burial or for repatriation.
Attestation of death: Document issued by a funeral home confirming the death of a person. The attestation issued by a funeral home has no legal value, but can however be accepted by third parties in the settlement of the estate. Not to be confused with the attestation delivered by the Directeur de l’état civil du Québec which confirms the presence or absence in the Québec register of civil status of an act of death or a notation made in such act.
Copy of an act of death/Death certificate: Documents issued by the Directeur de l’état civil du Québec serving as a proof of death. They are the only two documents that can serve has a legal proof of death in Québec.
Declaration of death (DEC-100): The declaration of death is a form that is completed by a close relative of the deceased and the funeral director. It provides information about the deceased, the spouse of the deceased and the disposal of the body.
The Declaration of death and the Attestation of death (DEC-101), are used to declare the death of a person to the Directeur de l’état civil du Québec in order for him to issue proofs of death (Copy of an act of death and Death certificate).
FORM SP-3: Return of death (SP-3) and Attestation of death (DEC-101): The Return of death (SP-3) and the Attestation of death (DEC-101) are the two documents included in the Form SP-3. This form is completed by the physician who attests the death in order to establish the identity of the deceased as well as the causes and circumstances of his death.
Because of their confidential nature, causes and circumstances of death can only be disclosed to specific actors (medical file, funeral director and Institut de la statistique du Québec) and will only appear on the Return of death form (SP-3).
As to the Attestation of death (DEC-101), a copy will be given to the declarant of the death with the Declaration of death (DEC-100) and the other will be used by the Directeur de l’état civil to enter the death in the Québec register of civil status.