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Commonly Used Terms

COMMON TERMS

Cemetery terms that you may want to become familiar with:

Cemetery

A burial park, for each interments or a mausoleum, for crypt or vault interments.

Mausoleum

A structure or building for the entombment of human remains in crypts or vaults.

Interment

The disposition of human remains by entombment or burial in a cemetery.

Scattering

The authorized disposal of cremated remains at sea, in other areas of the state, or commingling in a defined area within a dedicated cemetery.

Entombment

The process of placing human remains in a crypt or vault.

Burial

The process of placing human remains in a grave.

Grave

A space of earth in a burial park, used, or intended to be used, for the disposition of human remains.

Crypt or Vault

A space in a mausoleum of sufficient size, used or intended to be used, to entomb uncremated human remains.

Lot, Plot, Site or Interment Plot or Interment Size

Any person in who name an interment lot, plot or site stands of record as owner, in the office of a cemetery authority.

Permit for Disposition of Human Remains

A burial permit issued pursuant to law, for the interment, disinterment, removal, reinterment or transportation of human remains.

Disposition

The interment of human remains within California, or the shipment outside of California, for lawful interment or scattering elsewhere, including release of remains.

Alternative container

An unfinished wood box .or other non-metal receptacle or enclosure, without ornamentation or a fixed interior lining, which is designed for the encasement of human remains and which is made of fiberboard, pressed wood, composition materials (with or without an outside covering) or like materials.

Outer Burial Container

A Vault or liner used to encase or cover the casket prior to burial in ground.

Columbarium

A structure consisting of small vaults or niches for urns containing cremated remains.

Cremated Remains

The remains of the decedent after completion of cremation and processing.

Cremation

The reduction of human remains to bone fragments through intense heat, flame and evaporation.

Inurnment

The placing of an urn containing cremated remains into a columbarium, niche, crypt, tomb or ground space.

Niche

A compartment or cubicle for the memorialization and permanent placement of cremated remains.

Urn

A container made from a variety of materials including, but not limited to bronze, ceramic, glass, porcelain, wood or other materials, into which cremated remains are placed. Many are designed in traditional vase-like shapes or square and rectangular cubes.