educate yourself about funerals

Funeral Jargon

Arrangement Conference – A meeting held between the funeral director and family members of the deceased to make funeral arrangements. During this meeting the funeral director will discuss the family’s wishes and budget and prepare a binding contract for the funeral goods and services selected by the family. This meeting usually takes place at the funeral home shortly after death. However, it may also be held anywhere the family deems convenient.

Ashes / Cremains / Cremated Remains - The remains of a body after a person’s body has been cremated.

At Need - Funeral and cemetery arrangements made at the time of death.

Burial - Placing of remains underground, usually in a cemetery.

Burial Permit - A legal document issued by the local municipal government authorizing disposition.

Casket - A receptacle of wood, metal or plastic into which the dead human body is placed for public burial. Sometimes referred to as "coffin." Casket Spray – An arrangement of cut flowers that lies atop the casket as a floral tribute to the deceased.

Celebrant - A qualified individual who works with a family to design, and conduct, a ceremony tailored to the beliefs, values and desires of a deceased individual and his or her immediate family. A celebrant may work together with a clergy person, or by themselves

Celebration of Life – A funeral or memorial ceremony with a little more up-beat tone to it. It is generally for times when the deceased has lived a good-long life or the deceased’s family wish to place first and foremost the positive qualities and service of their loved one.Committal Ceremony - The final portion of the funeral service at which time the deceased is interred or entombed and the last remarks or prayers are said; also referred to as graveside service.

Cremation - The process which reduces the body by heat to small bone fragments. When the fragments are pulverized, they are reduced to the consistency of coarse sand or crushed seashells.

Crematorium / Crematory - The building where human remains are cremated.

Death Notice – The brief notice of the death of a person, particularly a newspaper notice, which usually lists the name, age, and family of the deceased, along with details of visitation and ceremony.

Embalming - The art and science of preserving human remains by treating them with chemicals. The three goals of embalming are sanitization, presentation and preservation (or restoration).

Executor – Generally a person having been appointed by the deceased to carry out the terms of their will. Different from a Power of Attorney.

Flowerbearers – Friends or family, generally younger children or teens, who walk before or behind the casket carrying flower tributes sent to the family.

Funeral – A ceremony marking an individual’s death. The funeral service can be a religious or cultural event and helps to honour the deceased.

Funeral Coach / Hearse - a vehicle for transporting the casket at a funeral to the cemetery.

Funeral Director’s Statement of Death - A certified copy of the original certificate issued by the funeral home. Certified statements of death are used when making claims for insurance and other death benefits.

Grave Marker – Commonly referred to as headstones, these are memorials that are usually made of metal or stone which include such information as the name of the individual, date of birth and death, symbols and words of tribute; also called monuments when they stand upright.

Honourary Pallbearers - Friends or members of a religious, social or fraternal organization who act as an escort or honor guard for the deceased. Honourary pallbearers do not carry the casket.

Interment – The burial or final placement of remains.

Inurnment - The placement of cremated human remains in an urn, or vessel of the family’s choosing, and the placement of such container in a niche, crypt, grave or other suitable location in a cemetery.

Lead Car - The vehicle in which the Funeral Director and sometimes the clergy / celebrant rides. When the procession is formed, the lead car moves to the head and leads the procession to the cemetery and/or reception.

Memorial Ceremony – A service conducted in memory of the deceased without the physical body being present.

Memorial Donation - A memorial contribution specified to a particular cause or charity, usually in lieu of flowers.

Obituary – A longer notice of the death of a person with personal biographical details included.

Pall – The large, generally white, cloth spread over a casket at the funeral ceremony reminiscent of one’s baptismal garment and symbolizing the equality of all people in God’s sight. It is a sign of hope, of new life beyond this life.

Pallbearers – Individuals whose duty it is to carry the casket, when necessary, during a funeral service. They are generally close friends and relatives of the deceased.

Power of Attorney (POA) - A document which gives a person the right to make binding decisions for another who is still living. There are both Power of Attorneys for Personal Care and for Financial and Property. A POA dies with the person and the executor then takes over.

Preneed, Prearranging or Preplanning - Planning a funeral in advance of the death, usually consisting of a list of your preferences for funeral arrangements. Often funded by insurance or trust.

Scattering of Cremated Remains – Please speak to our funeral director for further clarification.

Urn - A container into which cremated remains are placed, or in which they are kept; may be made of various materials, including wood, marble or metal. An urn may also be anything the family deems as significant. For example, a cookie tin or cigar box!

Urn Ark - A special way to enhance, and allow family and friends to participate in, funeral ceremonies that involve cremation. The cremation urn is placed on display in the ark, and urnbearers can carry it in a formal procession in and out of our chapel, a place of worship, at a memorial service, or to a cemetery for a committal service.

Urnbearers – Are friends or family called upon to carry either the urn itself or an urn ark in a formal procession in and out of the memorial ceremony to the cemetery for a committal service. Or course, not all cremated remains are buried. It is totally at the family’s discretion.

Vault - A lined and sealed container, of metal or concrete, that is specifically engineered to support the weight of the earth grave as well as the heavy equipment that passes over it. By law, a vault cannot be requested by the governing institution. There are a wide variety of both casket, and urn, vaults to choose from.

Viewing - An opportunity for family and friends to view the deceased, or closed casket of the deceased.

Visitation -The time when family and friends come to visit with the deceased’s family and to see the deceased after they have been prepared by the funeral home. A viewing (visitation, wake) may take place at the funeral home, or place of worship, or some other appropriate site. This may take place a day, or hours, prior to the actual funeral service. There can also be a time of visitation when there are cremated remains rather than a physical body.

A family is encouraged to display photographs of the deceased person during his/her life (formal portraits with other family members and candid pictures to show "happy times"), prized possessions and other items representing his/her hobbies and/or accomplishments.
The viewing is either "open casket" or "closed casket."

Many authorities consider the viewing important to the grieving process as it gives a chance to say goodbye on a personal level. It also can make it easier to accept the reality of the death, which can often seem unreal especially in the contemporary world where death is handled by professionals and the family may only know of a death through phone calls rather than experiencing it as it occurs.

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Our Testimonials

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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