A Memorial Service is somewhat different to a Funeral Service
So here are some suggestions that might assist you to plan a memorial service that’s as unique as your loved one.
The Funeral Service generally takes place within a week of your loved one’s death. During that time, emotions can be very raw and making decisions can be difficult. Pre-planning your funeral will relieve some of this stress for your family. Regardless, as time goes by, you might feel more ‘ready’ to celebrate their life and honour them in a deeply personal way.
If your loved one has been cremated, you may hold a memorial service once you receive the ashes, as a mark of respect when you decide what you’ll do with them.
A memorial service can take place days, weeks, or even months after the funeral, giving you more time to consider how you’d like to honour your loved one.
1 The first decision is The Venue
You may choose a location that was significant to them – a park they loved to visit, a restaurant they frequented, sporting venue of the team they loved, a bush setting, a city scape, your own home, or even a different country they loved to visit. If you choose an outdoor venue, make sure you have a wet weather plan!
2 The Style
A memorial service can be a celebration of all the things that made your loved one unique. So choose a style that they would have liked. Get everyone to dress up in their team colours, or in black tie if they enjoyed the finer things in life. If they had a sense of humour, make sure your style captures that. If they loved classical music and books, make that your theme. It will help everyone remember them fondly and encourage story sharing. Have some photos of your loved one around the venue taken on family holidays, significant events etc to help guests remember the good times.
3 The Music
If they had a distinctive music style preference, that makes the job of choosing the soundtrack to their memorial service much easier. You could ask guests to email you in advance with the name of a song that makes them think of your loved one, to make it even more personal.
4 The Food
If you’re going to serve food at the memorial service, it can be a nice touch to serve the food they loved. You might also serve some of the foods they hated! One family fondly remembers the memorial service for their beloved grandfather. He loved curried sausages and pasties but hated pizza and ice cream. The family recognised that their grandfather’s food preferences wouldn’t be to everyone’s tastes, so they lovingly set two tables. One was called ‘food pop loved’ and one was called ‘food pop hated.’ Both tables raised fond memories for the guests.
5 Who Will Speak?
There may be some people close to your loved one who were too raw with emotion to speak at their funeral, but now feel ‘ready’ to give a speech. You may like to open the floor to anyone who’d like to say a few words about your loved one. This can be a little risky but nothing a seasoned MC can’t handle!
At the end of the day, a memorial service can be as grand or as simple as you like. What really matters is that your loved one is celebrated and most of all… will never be forgotten.
If you’d like help to plan a memorial service for your loved one, please contact us and we’d love to help you.