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.  

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.  Storytelling 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 a 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, and determining menu selections, the program, music, speeches, and other tributes.

Memorial Templates

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 of this venue are that the sound system and video projection are 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, and wineries, offer private event rentals that are perfectly suitable for the remembrance of life.

When selecting a venue, some practical considerations should include; 

  • the number of people anticipated attending,
  • 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.


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