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Planning A Memorial Service

Wondering where to start in planning a memorial service?

Nowadays, many people do not have a minister or a church affiliation.  And many want a spiritual service – but not religious.   Many people feel the traditional funeral leaves them cold.   Have you ever been to a funeral when the minister says, “I never knew the deceased, but I’m told…”

A memorial service allows you to design a  service that is exactly the way you want to say goodbye to your loved one and celebrate their life.   No two are alike.

Planning a memorial service the right way, can ensure it is a unique personalized tribute.

Everyone needs that sacred moment when family and friends gather and remember the deceased.   The following guidelines will help you prepare a hallmark lasting legacy of your beloved.

Planning a memorial service should take into account  your desire to celebrate the life of your loved one – as well as sadly, recognize their death.

A memorial service allows for  flexibility in time and planning.   It may take place several days after death or several months. You’re in control,  allowing  family and friends to take any amount of time to adjust to the new reality of death.

Often funerals are touching and spiritual, but little is tailored to the memories and life of the deceased.    A memorial service can take everyone on a journey of the deceased’s life.  Poignant and funny stories are shared.  Story telling becomes paramount.

By following a tried and true recipe, you can plan a unique, memorable tribute to your loved one.    Ceremony speaks when words fail and creates tremendous impact.

The logistics of planning a memorial service begin with determining the  appropriate time and date of the event.

Once a date for the memorial remembrance service is set,  other decisions need to be made rather quickly. These include finding an appropriate venue, sending invitations or putting a notice in the paper,  determining menu selections, the program, music, speeches, and other tributes.

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The Memorial Service Venue

The simplest  option often is to work with the funeral director who can provide their funeral home for the memorial service.

Some of the advantages to this venue is that the sound system and video projection is provided.  They will run the music and video for you.    There is a microphone and podium for speakers.

However, more and more people are turning to destination settings for a memorial.  Many beautiful facilities such as;  gardens and greenhouses,  museums, arenas, clubhouses, theaters, parks, lodges, aquariums, wineries, which  offer private event rentals that are perfectly suitable for a remembrance of life.

When selecting a venue, some practical considerations should include; 

  • the number of people anticipated to attend,
  • if the venue allows food and/or alcohol,
  • if specific caterers must be used,
  • if the venue is appropriate for the anticipated weather,
  • and if the venue is something that the deceased would have liked and appreciated.

After arrangements have been made to secure the venue the specifics and details of the remembrance memorial service should be decided. These include determining how you are going to let people know the date and time,   if food and drink will be served, musical selections, flowers and other decorations, who will speak or offer remembrance stories and readings, and  if the family will offer memory takeaway items to guests.

Invitations and notifications to friends and family can be done informally through email and phone calls, through an obituary  or if at a later date, a notice in the local newspaper, social media websites, or with formal paper invitations.  On-line invitations such as e-vite are an option.

At the service, you will want to have a Guest Book for attendees to sign. You will appreciate having one afterwards, as there may be guests who attend, but you did not have a chance to see them. Amazon has a good selection of styles of guest books to choose from, and if you compare price and quality to what the funeral home offers, I think you will be pleased.
Planning A Memorial Service




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