A list of terms that we commonly use for funeral services.



Advance Planning: “Goods and services sold on a prepaid basis directly to the public for use in connection with future funeral services. Along with the normal funeral service items, prepaid funeral merchandise and services also includes opening and closing of the grave and outer-burial containers. The term does not include a grave, marker, monument, tombstone, crypt, niche, plot, or lawn crypt unless it is sold in contemplation of trade for a funeral service or funeral merchandise.” (Texas Department of Banking)

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 made of fiberboard, pressed-wood, composition materials (with or without an outside covering) or like materials. (CFR Title 16: Part 453.1 A)

Arrangement Conference: The meeting at the funeral home when funeral arrangements are made with a licensed funeral director.

Ashes: See “cremated remains”

Basic Services of Funeral Director and Staff: Consultation with the family or responsible party; staff and facilities to respond to the initial requests for service; coordinating service plans with cemetery, crematory, and/or other parties involved in the final disposition of the deceased; securing official documents and necessary registrations and sheltering of the deceased.

Bereavement: The period of time a person experiences after the death of a loved one. This period varies in length depending upon the type of loss and the nature of the relationship with the deceased, as well as the bereaved individual’s ability to cope, spiritual beliefs and lifestyle. Typically, society accepts this period to be a year, however, research indicates it is not uncommon for the bereavement period to last 2-3 years. Initially, this time is often recognized by rituals of funeral services, wearing black, taking time off of work and/or lowering the flag to half mast. Friends and family support the bereaved family with support and comfort through visits, food and caretaking. (Paula Loring, LCSW, LMFT)

Burial: See “interment”

Burial Vault: See “Outer Burial Container”

Casket: A rigid container designed for the encasement of human remains. Caskets are usually constructed of wood, metal, fiberglass, plastic, or like material, and ornamented with fabric lining. (CFR Title 16: Part 453.1 C)

Cash Advance Item: Any item of service for merchandise described to a purchaser as a ‘cash advance,’ ‘accommodation,’ ‘cash disbursement,’ or similar term. A cash advance item is also any item obtained from a third party and paid for by the funeral provider on the purchaser’s behalf. Cash advance items may include, but are not limited to: cemetery or crematory services, pallbearers, public transportation, clergy honoraria, flowers, musicians or singers, nurses, obituary notices, gratuities and death certificates. (CFR Title 16: Part 453.1 B)

Cemetery: A place intended for interment use. Includes a graveyard, burial park or mausoleum.” (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.2)

Certified Death Certificate: A legal copy of the original death certificate, issued by local authorities at the request of family members, for the purposes of substantiating claims for insurance.

Crematory: A structure containing a furnace used for the cremation of human remains. (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.7)

Columbarium: A durable, fireproof structure, or a room or other space in a durable, fireproof structure, containing niches for containing cremated remains. (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.5)

Cremated Remains: The bone fragments remaining after the cremation process, which may include the residue of any foreign materials that were cremated with the human remains. (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.6)

Cremation:The irreversible process of reducing human remains to bone fragments through extreme heat and evaporation, which may include the processing of bone fragments. (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.7)

Crypt: A chamber in a mausoleum of sufficient size to inter human remains. (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.001.10)

Disposition: The placement of cremated or whole human remains in their final resting place.

Embalming: The act of disinfecting or preserving a deceased human body, entire or in part, by the use of chemical substances, fluids, or gases in the body; or by the introduction of the same into the body by vascular or hypodermic injection; or by direct application into the organs or cavities; or by any other method intended to disinfect or preserve a dead body or restore body tissues and structures.

Funeral Director: A licensed individual who engages in the preparation, with the exclusion of embalming, of a dead human body for burial or other disposition. (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 651.001.6)

Grief: A term used to describe the natural emotional experience a person goes through during the period of bereavement. These emotions (such as anger, guilt, sorrow, helplessness, loss of purpose) can be intense and painful, and often interfere with a person’s ability to carry on their normal lifestyle. The stress of these emotions can cause physiological and psychological symptoms such as inability to sleep, confusion, memory loss, loss of appetite and preoccupation with memories and thoughts. As these emotions are sorted through and resolved, the grief will subside and is often replaced by feelings of gratitude, comfort and peace. (Paula Loring, LCSW, LMFT)

Grief Support Group: An organized group of people (usually led by a trained facilitator), who come together to share their experiences of grief and support each other in working through their feelings and discovering a life style without the deceased. It is not a therapy group and not intended for those experiencing an extreme grief reaction or a complicated lifestyle. (Paula Loring, LCSW, LMFT)

Green Funeral: Also known as an eco-friendly funeral, a green funeral is an alternative to a traditional burial or cremation resulting from environmentally friendly options.

Interment: Burial or the act of placing in a grave.

Mausoleum: A building in which remains are buried or entombed.

Memorial Service: A ceremony commemorating the deceased without the body present. (CFR Title 16: Part 453.1 I)

Niche: A space in a columbarium, mausoleum or niche wall to hold an urn.

Outer Burial Container: Any container designed for placement in the grave around the casket, including, but not limited to, containers (commonly known as burial vaults), grave boxes and grave liners. (CFR Title 16: Part 453.1 N)

Pre-Need/Pre-Planning: See “Advance Planning”

Visitation/Viewing: A period set aside for family and/or friends for viewing of the deceased or paying respect to the family. This may be done with the casket open or closed, and at either the funeral home or a place of worship.

Porter Loring Mortuary
Phone: (210) 227-8221
1101 McCullough Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Establishment License Number 268

Porter Loring Mortuary North
Phone: (210) 495-8221
2102 N. Loop 1604 E., San Antonio, TX 78232
Establishment License Number 1939

Porter Loring Mortuary West
Phone: (210) 891-0000
1710 W. Loop 1604 N., San Antonio, TX 78251
Establishment License Number 4620

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