"Five Things to Consider
Planning a Memorial"
A memorial service is very similar to a funeral service in many ways. Both events are ways to honor and remember a deceased person after their death. The main difference is that in a funeral service,
the noncremated body of the deceased is there, while in a memorial service, this is not the case.
When planning a service for a loved one who has recently passed on, there are some important
things to remember.
As unimportant as it can seem in the grand scheme of things, when planning a memorial for a loved
one, it is important to outline a budget. Sometimes, the memorial service ideas that a family has can be impractical, so it is critical to know what a family can afford to do to honor their loved one.
Setting up a budget allows the family to divide up tasks and know what can or should be done by
individuals, rather than by an outside contractor.
Where and When?:
It is important to consider the guest list when deciding when and where the service will be held. If
there are many relatives coming to the service from a great distance, the service should be
scheduled to give them enough time to arrive. The location is also something to consider. Should the
service be held at the funeral home, at the church that the deceased attended, or another location
close to their heart? These things must all be decided on, and are a critical part of the planning
Some people love music, and as a result, music must be included in their memorial service. Songs
that they loved can be shared, giving a glimpse of their personality as their lives are honored. Some people, however, do not care for music. If that is the case, the family needs to choose another way
to honor their memory rather than through music.
The photos chosen for the memorial can be used in the obituary, displayed around the service, or made into a slideshow. These will give everyone a visual aid and a reminder of the deceased, sharing a slice of their unique personality. Sometimes, these can replace the eulogy.
There are several key bits of writing that must be considered when planning a memorial. First, the obituary must be written. While it doesn’t need to be, it is recommended that the obituary is written
by the family, or at least a close family friend. This ensures that the person who writes the obituary
knew the deceased. The writer should also ask the other family members for their thoughts as they are writing, giving an accurate portrayal of the recently deceased. It is also important to consider the service itself. Who will be speaking? The eulogy should be unique, sharing the speaker’s unique
relationship with the deceased.
Whether a family is planning a memorial service or a funeral, there are several things that must be
considered. From the budget to the writing, the service should highlight the unique personality of
the deceased and the relationship that they had with their friends and loved ones.