Components of a Memorial Service
By taking time to plan a memorial service, you cannot only make it unique but a lasting tribute to your loved one. Your funeral professional is trained to help families create a meaningful moment and you can help by clearly communicating your vision. Ideas to help you plan a service include:
• Choosing a special location: Memorial services do not need to be set in a church or other traditional setting like the funeral home. More and more families are moving the ceremony off site. Other settings include a park, sports field, beach, art gallery, golf course or another place that was special to your loved one.
• Selecting a time and date: A memorial service can be held any time after your loved one dies. Expect some guests to come in from out of town, so make sure to choose your date accordingly. If you expect several guests to be traveling, it might be a good idea to reserve a block of rooms. Sometimes discounts are available, and the hotel might even have a meeting room that you could use for your gathering with snacks and beverages available.
• Choosing a theme: The personalized theme allows family and friends to focus on their loved one and remember the important things about his life. For instance, if he or she were in the military, you can showcase photos, uniforms, medals and commendations. Ask friends and family to bring mementos, photos, or memories that can be shared.
Sharing personal readings and music: Make the ceremony memorable by choosing songs and readings that your loved one enjoyed such as Biblical scripture, poetry, classical music or even jazz. Have attendees read meaningful passages, sing or play songs, or say a few words to eulogize the deceased.
• Displaying photographs: While this may be one of the most common memorial service ideas, it can also be one of the most unique and moving. Displaying pictures on poster boards are a good idea as is a video montage set to music. Often the funeral home can help with this task and make copies for friends and families. Although it can be an emotional and time consuming experience to sift through the photographs to find the perfect ones to use for the service, it can also be healing and good for the spirit.
Flowers, candles, and comfort foods are added elements that can add a personal touch.