Funeral Terminology



Embalming incorporates the techniques used to preserve the body of a loved one in the most natural state as possible. There are two main reasons why embalming is a common practice. First, embalming helps to preserve the body during the visitation period or all other practices and rituals related to beliefs, whether religious or other. Second, embalming helps to prevent the spreading of sickness. The Egyptians were the first to practice embalming. The purpose of the following text is to explain the different stages of embalming.

First of all, we wash the body from head to toes and complete facial features. More precisely, we close the eyes, the mouth and shave the face if necessary.

Arterial embalming involves replacing the blood of the deceased with a preservative solution. That chemical solution, compounded basically of formaldehype and water, will temporarily freeze most cells in the body. A incision of about 5 centimeters long is performed at the level of the right collarbone, from which an artery and a vein are lifted. The solution is then injected with an electro-injector through the artery and the blood is drained through the vein. Also, we extract the bodily gases through the thoracic abdominal cavities with a trocar.

The body is then washed again and we finish with the cosmetics, the hairdressing, the dressing up and the placing of the body in the coffin. Sometimes we have to use different procedures for esthetical reasons.

This process normally takes about 3 hours. Each case is unique. Some might vary from 5 to 7 hours of preparation time.




Interment (burial)

Inhumation means the final disposition of the body. It is simply the burial of the deceased. People choose inhumation for different reasons, whether it is for a spiritual matter, a religious belief, or any other reason.

Inhumation requires family members to make certain decisions about the location, the cemetery and the type of burial to choose from. In addition, the family members of the deceased must decide if the coffin will be placed directly in the ground or in a metal or cement vault. It is recommended to plan the final disposition and to know the cemetery regulations and that the clauses concerning the inhumation outlined in the contract to ensure that the deceased last wishes are respected. For example, you may wish to purchase a new cemetery plot to offer to your family the possibility of being buried in the same place.




Cremation is the process by which the body is reduced to chemical compounds in gases and bone fragments forms. The process is done by intense heat and vaporization. Contrary to popular belief, the incinerated remains are not ashes in the proper sense of the word, but dried bone fragments that have been pulverized in a crematory kiln. The results of this process transform the bones into a compound similar in texture and color to fine sand.

Cremation can be done before or after the funeral service and can be an alternative to burying the body in a coffin. The incinerated remains are not harmful to the health and can be buried; placed in an alcove (niche), or disposed of in other ways.

In certain religions, cremation is a commonly practiced ritual. Incineration is the term normally used in North America to describe cremation.





Entombment means placing the coffin and the deceased in a grave. A grave is generally a space reserved for a coffin in a mausoleum, which is a funeral monument the size of a small building. There are interior and exterior mausoleums. We mostly find these structures in cemeteries or in places of worship.



Place in a niche

To place in a niche is the action of laying the urn in an alcove. The niche is a square or rectangular space designed to hold an urn. The niche can be outside or inside a building; it can be incorporated into a monument or closed by a glass or a slab of granite. We find some in cemeteries and in some Funeral Homes in Québec. It is recommended to ask knowledgeable professionals for the rules governing niches.

Located in Alfred (Ontario), the Lamarre & Son Funeral Home and members of its staff have the privilege to service the families of Alfred-Plantagenet and surrounding communities throughout the Eastern Ontario region and for this, we are grateful for the trust you place in our establishment.

  • 453 St. Philippe Street, P.O. Box 520, Alfred (ON) K0B 1A0

  • 613-679-2802