The first step in planning a burial memorial is to contact a funeral home. If you do not know of a reputable one in your community, then ask local churches for recommendations. The professional staff of a funeral home will assist in each step of the planning process, from obtaining the appropriate legal documents to planning the elements of the memorial service.
The next step will be to choose a minister to conduct the service. If your deceased one was a member of a church, then you should ask their minister to perform the service. If they were not a member of a local congregation, then the funeral home you are working with should be able to obtain the services of a pastor on your behalf. This selection should be made carefully, because the individual who officiates the memorial is going to play an influential role in shaping its overall dynamic.
When it comes to planning the actual service, here are a few details that you are going to need to plan:
• Special music or songs that you would like to include
• Readings, Bible verses, stories, or poems
• Special singers or speakers you would like to include in the service
• Specific photos of the deceased you would like to be displayed
• Whether or not you would like for mourners to bring flowers or send donations to charity
• Whether or not mourners will be invited to the graveside service
Additionally, you will also need to prepare a eulogy. Most eulogies last about 5 minutes in duration. Emotional aspects of the eulogy should be saved for the end. If additional tributes to the deceased will be made, make sure to limit their time, so that the funeral service will not run too long. A eulogy should outline the basic elements of the deceased’s life, as well as accomplishments, character qualities, and other positive manners in which they affected the lives of others.
Other elements of a burial memorial you will need to decide whether or not you would like to have included are special remembrances tables, a service handout, and a guestbook for mourners to sign. Make sure to keep the length of the burial memorial in between 30-60 minutes. Because a burial memorial is a celebration of a person’s life, try to include any small details that are truly reminiscent of the deceased.