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Funeral Lexicon

Since 1902



Following a cremation, the remains of a person are reduced to ashes and placed in an urn.

Attestation of death

An attestation of death is an official form attesting to the death of a person. The form is sent to the Directeur de l’état civil, so that the death can be recorded in the Québec register of civil status. An attestation of death is not a death certificate or an act of death.



Burial is the process of lowering the deceased’s body into the ground. A person can be buried in a coffin or an urn.



Cemeteries are burial sites where urns and coffins are laid to rest. There are several different types of cemeteries, including private ones, public ones, religious and non-religious ones.


A chapel is a place used to hold memorial ceremonies (religious and non-religious) for people who have passed away.  Most funeral complexes have a chapel.


A coffin is a wooden or metal container in which the human remains are placed before being buried or placed in a crypt.


A columbarium is a room or building with niches where we store urns. Columbaria are often found in cemeteries and funeral complexes, and can be indoor or outdoor.


Cremation is a process that uses a high heat to reduce human remains to ashes. Known outside the funeral industry as incineration, cremation is gaining in popularity.


A crematorium is the place where cremations take place.


Crypts are places where coffins can be laid to rest and are located inside mausoleums. This type of disposition is different from traditional burials as the coffin is placed inside a vault in the wall rather than being buried underground.



Death is the end of life. Following a death, funeral homes organize the funeral based on the deceased’s final wishes and the wishes of their family.

Death certificate

A death certificate contains important information about the person who has passed away, including their full name, sex, date of birth and death, place of date, registry number and date of issue of the death certificate. A death certificate must not be confused with an attestation of death.


The deceased is a term used to refer to the person who has passed away.



Exhumation is the process of removing a coffin from its burial site.


Final resting place

A final resting place is a saying used to refer to the burial site.


Funerals are a ceremony organized to celebrate the life of a person who has passed away.

Funeral complex

A funeral complex is a large funeral service establishment. A complex brings together many different facilities under one roof, including a chapel, viewing room, reception hall and more.

Funeral director

A funeral director meets with the grieving family to arrange the deceased’s funeral.

Funeral home

A funeral home is the place where people come together to celebrate the life of a person who has passed away. Funeral homes are also sometimes called funeral parlours.

Funeral monument

A funeral monument is a commemorative monument featuring the epitaph (name, date of birth and date of death) of the deceased.  Funeral monuments are more commonly known as tombstones.

Funeral pre-arrangements

Funeral pre-arrangements are a contract for funeral services entered into by a living person and a funeral service provider. The living person decides how they would like their funeral to be and the services they would like to have in the event of their death. Funeral pre-arrangements enable people to plan a funeral that reflects them as a person, their values and their beliefs.



Grief is a natural process that occurs following the death of a loved one. We experience several different stages of grief and they are unavoidable.



A hearse is a specially designed vehicle for transporting a coffin during funeral services.



Incineration is an incorrect term sometimes used to describe cremation, the process that uses a high heat to reduce human remains to ashes.


Last will

The last will refers to the final wishes expressed by a person before their death.


Memory stone

Memory stones are an alternative to columbaria and traditional burial plots. Often located in ecological gardens, memory stones are a relatively new way of identifying burial plots.


A morgue is a place in a hospital where the body of the deceased is stored until a funeral home claims it.



A niche is the space in a columbarium where an urn is stored.



Pallbearers are the people who carry the coffin or urn during funeral ceremonies. They are also responsible for transporting the coffin through each stage of the ceremony.


Plaques are an alternative to funeral monuments. Plaques are available in a bronze or granite finish and feature the same information as a tombstone. They are often more discreet than traditional funeral monuments.


A piece of land in a cemetery or a rented site in a mausoleum where an urn or coffin will be laid to rest.



In the funeral industry, repatriation occurs when someone dies out of the province or country. Repatriation involves bringing the body back to Quebec, or in the case of someone who passes away in Quebec but lives elsewhere, safely returning the body to their home. The legal procedures required for repatriation are sometimes provided by funeral homes.



Also called funeral monuments, tombstones are placed on graves and feature the epitaph of the deceased.