Customized Memorial Service Options in Lincoln and Valparaiso, Nebraska.


If you are looking to plan a meaningful and unique memorial service, we would love to help discuss your options. Our goal is to provide you with a seamless service experience and relieve some of the burden you may be experiencing during these times.

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.

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Unique Memorial Service Ideas

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Memorial Service

Memorial Service FAQ

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For an affordable memorial service come to Colonial Chapel Funeral Home

Now that you’ve taken the time to read through all the information about the affordable memorial service options we offer we welcome you to ask us any questions that you have. We have put together a frequently asked questions page that we hope will help, but please give us a call at 402-647-5200 if you read through it and still need answers. You can also contact us through our online contact form, and we will email you back.

If you have come to the conclusion that a memorial service is not for you, then we have a few other pages within the site that would be good to read. Please take a look at our burial services page, as well as our affordable cremation services.

Lastly, we want to remind you that if you are in immediate need, we can be contacted 24 hours a day, so do not hesitate to give us a call right now.

Unique Memorial Service Ideas

When a loved one passes away, the first thing that comes to mind are fond memories of that person’s life. Everything that made them the unique person you loved seems to come into absolute clarity. Because of this, a lot of people want to make sure that the funeral service for their loved one contains some kind of memorial. However, coming up with original memorial service ideas for honoring your dearly departed can be difficult. Here are some unique memorial service ideas so that your loved one is remembered in the way they deserve to be.

Display Collections

Lots of people today are collectors. These collections are a reflection of their passions in life and, as such, are a great memorial for the same person in death. If your loved one was a collector of photo albums, comic books or baseball cards, prominently displaying these items at their funeral service is a great way for people to get a sense of who they were.

A Slideshow with Their Favorite Music

People generally think of funerals as a very sad time, and for very good reasons. But they can also be a celebration of life, which is why a photo slideshow is a great memorial service idea. A slideshow featuring the highlights of the life of the departed is a great way to remember happier times—especially if the slideshow is accompanied by some of your loved one’s favorite songs.

Sharing Memories

One of the tragedies of losing a loved one is the feeling that you will never have the opportunity to learn any more about their life. This is why having an open mic for the sharing of memories is a great memorial service idea. By allowing the sharing of memories at a funeral, you’re making sure that all the attendees can get at least some sense of what your loved one was like in their lives.

Hire the Right Mortuary

When planning a funeral service with unique memorial service ideas, you want to make sure you’re employing the right funeral home that will respect all of your wishes.

Colonial Chapel Funeral Home —serving Valparaiso, Lincoln and surrounding areas— is committed to providing the exact funeral services that you want to deserve. Contact us today at 402-647-5200 for both funeral services and funeral pre-planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our list of the most frequently-asked questions will certainly shed light on the topic of memorial services. Still, it may not have the answer to your specific question. If that is the case, give us a call at 402-647-5200. A member of our staff will be pleased to provide you with the information you're looking for; and who knows? Your question could be added to this list, ultimately assisting others in making vital commemorative decisions.

1What is a memorial service?
Here's an interesting way to answer the question: a memorial service is not a funeral. Picture what you believe to be the traditional funeral, and then mentally tear up the image. Both ceremonies have structure; both are intended to bring the community together in support and remembrance. But one is far more formal than the other; a memorial service is not led by clergy but guided by a celebrant or master-of-ceremonies. It provides all who attend the service an opportunity to participate on some level, not just to observe and reflect.
2How does it differ from a celebration-of-life or funeral?
Visualize a memorial service as a mid-point on the spectrum of service format possibilities. On one end is the more formally-structured, clergy-led funeral service (often with three parts: the visitation, funeral, and a committal service held at the cemetery). At the other end is the celebration-of-life; an event where the life of the deceased–their passions, intellectual pursuits, and personal accomplishments–are the focus of attention. A funeral isn't truly celebratory, whereas a celebration-of-life is all about celebration. A memorial service could be said to be a gentle mix of the two; but in all honesty, each memorial service is unique. Speak with your funeral professional for further insights.
3Which type of service format is right for me and my family?
There's really no way we can tell you which service would be the best in your situation. In fact, we don't believe it's even part of our job to tell you; instead, our work is in showing you the spectrum of possibilities. We can explain your options, make suggestions; all with the goal of empowering you to arrive at the best possible decision.
4How much will a memorial service cost?
This is a lot like asking "how much will it cost to buy a car?" The answer is totally dependent upon the 'bells & whistles'–the special features–you've selected during the arrangement conference. When you sit down with a funeral director to discuss service costs, you'll receive a copy of the firm's General Price List which will detail all the basic professional services included in the price of your loved one's memorial service, as well as the cost of any ancillary products or services you've purchased. Call us to get a better idea of what your loved one's memorial service will do for you, as well as what it will cost.
5What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
Some of the things you'll discuss with your funeral director involve purchases made from outside vendors, and you will be asked to pay for those items at the time of the arrangement conference. One of the most common is the fee charged by a newspaper to print your loved one's obituary. Another cash advance charge could be for clergy or musician's fees, floral arrangements, reception necessities, such as food/beverage or facility rental. Your funeral director will provide you with a detailed invoice for all cash advance items.
6Why must I pay for these items ahead of time?
The vendors we work with the newspapers, florists, caterers and musicians, all require us to pay for goods and services when ordered or at the time of delivery. Our "good faith" relationship with them requires us to charge you for them at the close of the arrangement conference. Your funeral director will take time to explain any and all of the necessary cash advance expenses incurred as part of your service planning.
7How and when should I pay?
A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay at the time the service contract is signed (at the time of the arrangement conference, or soon afterward). Speak with your funeral director to learn more.
8What's involved in planning a memorial service?
We've actually written a number of pages on memorial service planning, but the short answer would include the tasks of selecting the location, date and time of the service. You'll be asked to identify the specific readings, musical selections, food or beverages, and/or the activities you'd like to feature, as well as the people you would like to participate in the service itself. Memorial service planning isn't difficult; it's empowering. After all, you've got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show the world how much your loved one meant to you. We invite you to speak with one of our service planning professionals to learn more.
9How much will I have to be involved?
How much would you like to be involved? Certainly, your funeral director will need you to specify certain details: the where and when, for example. Together you'll make important decisions about other specifics, but once those decisions are made, you can "step back" and let us handle everything or have as much input as you please.
10What items will I need to bring to the funeral home?
You'll need to provide the documents/information required to complete your loved one's death certificate and obituary. You may also wish to bring in a collection of family photographs to be used in making a tribute video or in the decoration of the service location. Other items may be needed at some point, depending on the arrangements made. Your funeral director will provide you with an exact list of the things he or she would like you to bring along to the arrangement conference.
11What is a civil celebrant? How can he or she help?
A celebrant is a person who has been trained to conduct formal ceremonies, such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals. They are not clergy; instead, they are experienced masters-of-ceremony and storytellers. A celebrant works closely with surviving family to create a ceremony that reflects the beliefs, cultural background, values, and aspirations of your deceased loved one, and your family. If you think you would be best served by a celebrant, please speak with your funeral director.
12Will I, or another family member, need to write the obituary?
Commonly the funeral director who met with you during the arrangement conference will assume the responsibility of writing the obituary. You will support them in doing so by providing them with the necessary legal documents (birth certificates, military records, and marriage or divorce decrees) and other important details about your loved one's life. If you, or another family member or friend, wish to write the obituary, we can help to guide you through the process.