When a loved one dies, you're suddenly forced to make a lot of tough decisions about cremation, burial, and memorialization. One of the biggest challenges is mastering the terminology. Simply put, cremation entails a lot of "lingo" that you may be unfamiliar with.
For example, what's a columbarium? The columbarium is a structure, typically found in a cemetery or church setting, with different compartments or niches in it for placing urns. These structures serve as mausoleums and provide a way for you to give your loved one's cremated remains a final resting place.
Another term you might come across is cremains. It is simply a portmanteau of cremated remains, that is, the "ashes" produced in the cremation process.
Disposition is the act of placing cremains in their final resting place - whether that's in a cemetery, a memorial garden, or elsewhere. Entombment specifically refers to burial in a mausoleum. Finally, interment refers to a burial of cremated remains in the ground or a mausoleum. This is not to be confused with inurnment, which refers to the placement of cremated remains in an urn.
An urn is simply the container in which you place cremated remains. You might memorialize this urn in your home for a season, but most of the time the urn finds its final destination in a cemetery. One final term to know is niche, which refers to the place in a columbarium where you might place your loved one's urn.
Knowing some of these terms can help you feel more confident as you seek to make the best decisions for your loved one, or even when pre-planning your cremation and funeral. Contact a local funeral provider for additional assistance and guidance.