While both funeral and memorial services give the deceased’s loved ones the opportunity to mourn, remember, say goodbye, and celebrate their life, the distinction is that a memorial service is performed without the deceased’s body present. It can be performed weeks, months, or even a year after the death and burial or cremation of a loved one. Because there’s often more time to plan, these services can be more personalized and allow plenty of travel time for out-of-town guests.
How to Plan a Memorial Service
As with a funeral service, it’s important to add the deceased’s life and personality into a memorial service and do your best to adhere to their wishes. When planning, you’ll want to do each of the following:
- Select a Date: With a memorial service, you can choose any date from a few weeks after their death to a full year later on the anniversary of their death or any time in between.
- Choose a Theme: Will the service be religious or spiritual, or would they have preferred something non-religious? Perhaps you’ll want to focus on their career or a charity about which they were passionate.
- Pick a Venue: The venue will vary depending on the number of guests expected and whether the memorial service will have a religious theme or not. You may want to select the church they attended or something more informal like a park.
- Invite Guests: Notify guests of the date and time of the memorial service at least a couple weeks in advance so that they can make travel arrangements.
- Name Participants: If there are certain people you or your loved one would like to have involved in the service, ask them to participate in some capacity, whether through giving a speech, a reading, or playing a particular song.
Ask for Assistance When Needed
Planning a memorial service can get overwhelming, so it’s important to ask for help from others when needed. Even if you’re planning a service months after your loved one’s death, the process will likely cause you stress while also unearthing additional feelings of grief. Delegate certain tasks to other family members or friends to help relieve some of the pressure, or enlist the help of an event planner or even a funeral home director.
Whether you recently lost a loved one or you’d like to plan a memorial service for a special date in the future, TP White & Sons Funeral Home provides compassionate funeral planning services to guide you through this difficult process. This funeral home has provided families in the Cincinnati, OH, area with funeral and cremation services since 1870, and they pride themselves on offering affordable, personalized options that truly honor and celebrate your loved one. Call their funeral home at (513) 231-7150 to discuss your memorial service plans, and visit them online for more information.