■ A facility providing funeral services
□ Traditionally, funerals in Japan are Buddhist affairs, which have usually been held at home, or more rarely in a temple. Just as weddings switched from homes to "wedding halls" two or three decades ago, towards the end of the 1990s suddenly a whole new category of building appeared, relieving families of the various pressures involved in a funeral at home, while not being directly connected to a particular Buddhist temple.
Typically セレモニーホール is part of a proper name, but there is evidence of its use as a generic term in the web examples below. It is obviously derived from the English words "ceremony hall", but in English these words do not have the funeral connotation that is clearly present in Japanese.
◇ 栃の葉東峰ホール 安心と信頼の（株）栃の葉葬儀社グループ。栃木県宇都宮市のセレモニーホール。会社案内と地図。...
(from http://search.odn.ne.jp/category/090132.html, July 2000)
The following example is from a web page advertising a rather superior clock. The two headings are classes of building for which this is deemed appropriate: the first hotels, and the second "wedding halls and funeral halls." Interestingly, katakana is used for the funeral case, but the kanji term 結婚式場（けっこんしきじょう） for the wedding one.
(From http://www.rhythm.co.jp/clock/mineral/04.html, July 2000)
This entry was created by Brian Chandler.