When a loved one passes away, funeral homes give families the option of planning a traditional funeral or a memorial service. While many people use these terms interchangeably, they refer to different events. This guide explains how these two services differ, so you can make an informed decision.
How Funerals & Memorial Services Differ
Presence of the Deceased
A funeral service is held when the body of the deceased is present. A cremation or burial would take place after this event. A memorial, on the other hand, is a type of service held when the body is not present. This is the key difference between the two. If the body of the deceased was buried or cremated, the service held afterward is a memorial.
Both services are meant to honor the deceased with love and respect, and some people express their wishes and preferences before they die. Some people opt for a prearranged funeral, so that they can choose the elements of their service. Others may specify that they wish to be cremated, and thus would be remembered in a memorial service instead.
Some families may prefer holding a full funeral service because it provides a sense of closure. Before the service, a funeral home director will guide you through the planning process, helping you select a casket and any readings or music you want.
Planning a memorial service consists of many of the same steps as a traditional funeral. Since the deceased has already been buried or cremated, you might consider the event to be a celebration of the person’s life, achievements, and contributions.
The compassionate staff at Belmont Funeral Home in Colchester, CT, recognizes that losing a loved one is difficult, which can make planning a suitable service overwhelming. These funeral home professionals aim to help ease the pain as much as possible by guiding you through the process and discussing the available options. To learn more about planning a funeral or a memorial service, visit their website or call (860) 537-2900.