Planning a Memorial Service As
Unique and Special As Your Loved One
A memorial service is similar to a traditional funeral service, except that a casket is not present. Some people choose to have an urn of cremated remains displayed at the memorial service, however this is a personal choice for the family to make. Memorial services also offer more flexibility for timing and are often held weeks or months after the death occurs, whereas traditional funerals are generally more urgent events. A memorial service can be an important part of the grieving process and offers a chance for family and friends to come together to celebrate their loved one.
Why Should We Have a Memorial Service?
Funeral professionals have noticed a trend of families preferring to hold a memorial service or “celebration of life” for their loved one rather than a traditional funeral. People typically think of funerals as somber and sad events, while memorial services generally have a lighter feeling focused more on celebrating the life that was lived versus grieving the loss. While a service can be customized to represent whatever the family wishes, more families seem to be drawn to the idea of a joyful celebration where memories and stories are shared, music is played, and attendees may even share a meal together. A memorial service can also be a significant milestone in working through the grief process for many people by allowing them to remember the good times and wonderful life their loved one lived instead of just focusing on the death.
Ideas for Planning a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life
As mentioned previously, a memorial service can be customized to be a personal and unique event designed around your loved one. Most families choose to include their loved one’s personality and lifestyle in their planning when considering things like decorations and the program of events. You should ask yourself if your loved one had any activities or hobbies they enjoyed, whether their profession was a significant part of their life, if they had any spiritual beliefs or cultural traditions you’d like to include, or if there is anything else that made them who they were. Things like volunteer or charity activities, social groups or organizations, schools they attended, or other ways they filled their life can be very helpful when planning a service.
Here are some ideas that may provide some guidance when you are deciding what to include in a memorial service or celebration of life.
- People enjoy viewing displays of things that were important to someone, such as any collections like baseball cards, stamps, coins, etc. Displaying these items at a memorial service provides a wonderful conversation opportunity and gives guests a chance to share memories about the deceased.
- Photos are a priceless memento to help document someone’s life. Sharing moments from different periods in a person’s life can help illustrate who they were in different chapters of time. Guests may also wish to share any photos they have, which can be special for family members who may not have copies of those photos. You may also wish to share photos digitally in an electronic obituary where they can be viewed by those who can’t attend in person and the memories are preserved long after the service.
- Choosing to play music during a memorial service can help lighten the mood and indicates this event is meant to be a happy one. Putting together a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs can be a nice way to remember those moments in their life. You may also consider a photo slideshow with music accompanying those photos.
- Many people like an opportunity to share memories or stories of the person who has passed. Memorial services can be less formal and offer a better chance for people to share their stories than a traditional funeral might. Having a microphone present so that people can take a few moments to speak is often a wonderful idea at a memorial service.
We are experienced in planning all types of memorial services and celebrations of life and would be honored to assist your family with your service. Please contact us at any time if you have questions or need more information about our services or the options available. We are always happy to speak with you about your ideas and give you any information you may need.