Planning a memorial service for a loved one may be daunted when you’re coping with your grief. There are many decisions to make, and you might feel overwhelmed by the task. The first step, then, is to be patient with yourself—and to understand as much as possible so that you can navigate the process more smoothly. Here’s everything that you need to know.
A Guide to Planning a Memorial Service
What exactly is a memorial service?
A memorial service is designed to honor the life of your loved one. It is not quite a funeral, which typically takes place in the presence of the deceased’s body. Memorials, on the other hand, usually occur after the burial or cremation. It provides family and friends with an opportunity to celebrate the person’s life in a structured environment, and to offer their own memories and special sentiments in a thoughtfully curated setting.
Who leads the service?
There are many different options available to families who aren’t sure who should officiate the service. While it’s common for a member of the deceased’s religious clergy to lead the proceedings during a funeral, this isn’t always the case at a memorial service. You might choose to have a close friend or family member do so, instead.
What types of costs are involved?
Associated costs depend largely on the items that you wish to add to the rate for a general memorial service. For example, you might need to pay fees to publish an obituary, hire a musician, display floral arrangements, and feed your guests. As you go about planning, the funeral director can assist you in making selections that best accommodate your budget.
What kinds of decisions do families make?
The first step is to select a suitable location. Many people opt to hold memorials in a place that was special to the deceased, such as a home or church. It can, of course, also be held in a funeral home if the family favors a more formal setting. Select guests who might wish to say a few words, read a scripture, or tell a thoughtful story about the person. Think about what your loved one truly enjoyed—and use those points as the basis of the service. Play music from a favorite artist, or display photographs that they took. Create a slideshow that honors all of the special relationships they built. Serve foods and drinks they especially loved. These are all poignant ways to connect guests with the person, and may provide some solace, too.
For over 40 years, the compassionate and skilled staff at Leo M. Bean and Sons Funeral Home has proudly served the families of greater Rochester, NY. If you’re planning a memorial service for a loved one, turn to them for assistance as you make those important decisions. They can also provide you with guidance as you plan a funeral or cremation and can assist with pre-planning, as well. Visit them online for information, or call (585) 426-7830.