A memorial service is somehow similar to any funeral service. The only difference is that in memorial service, the body inside the casket is not present. It means that the service is held after the deceased person is cremated or buried. Some families prefer to hold memorial services after one week from the time date of death or after a year. In planning for a memorial service, there are things worth knowing beforehand in order to save your time and money, and to choose the right options suitable to your needs.
When Is the Right Time to Hold a Memorial Service
Any time most convenient to your schedule or significant to you or to your loved one can be the best time for memorial service. If you are planning to hold one, you may want to follow the traditions of holding a memorial service a few days after the death of a loved so that family and relatives, as well as friends, are there to gather together and offer their condolences and comfort.
On the other hand, some families also prefer to hold the service after a few months or a year. It allows them to choose a venue with enough space and a comfortable environment for everyone. However, some of the relatives and family members may not be able to come for the memorial service, especially those who are working abroad. If you are planning one, it can be helpful to consider the time or schedule so that everyone is present during the memorial service.
Where to Hold the Memorial Service
In planning for the memorial service, another thing that you should know is the available location. You can hold the service at the comfort of your home where family and relatives will be comfortable throughout the gathering. The church is also an option where family holds a memorial service for their loved one who passed away. Some places that are significant to the person who is to be memorialized are also a great option.
There are venues, too, that can be rented for the said gathering, like funeral homes, restaurant, banquet hall, and other large spaces that can hold a number of people for the event.
What to Do in a Memorial Service
A memorial service does not hold any formal structure to strictly follow. However, traditionally, family members may participate in the delivering readings, in praying, in singing of songs, and in playing of musical instruments. Some of the family members are also assigned to speak or share precious memories with the deceased person. Being considered as traditional practice based on religion, the family may request a religious leader to speak or lead the service.
In addition to these activities, the family may also present a slideshow of old pictures and videos about the loved one who passed away, or they may also play a list of songs that the person used to play or sing. The slideshow may also include the life’s journey of the person on his or her way to success and achievements.
What Food and Drinks are Best to Offer
After the memorial service, it is a gesture of hospitality to offer food and drinks to everyone who attended. Snacks and refreshments are an ideal option. However, to maximize this important family gathering, some would serve lunch or dinner, aside from snacks. It can be a perfect time for distant family members and relatives to catch up and bond together while remembering a loved one.
Some formal memorial services are even organized with catering and reception wherein full meals are served throughout the event.
Who are Invited
Immediate family may send invitations to relatives, friends, colleagues, and significant people who knew the person. A guest list will help organize it, and you can send invitations to everyone that you want to come once the list is organized.
If the memorial service is scheduled a few months or a year after the burial or cremation, it is best to let the invited guests know about the schedule. Those invited guests who are residing in far places or in another country will have enough time to make arrangements for their travel and itineraries if they receive the invitation ahead of time.
How to Acknowledge the Attendees
Thank you cards are ideal to send if you want to acknowledge and thank the guests who attend the memorial service. It does not matter if you choose it to be formal or informal. What is important is that you appreciate their effort and presence. It will be thoughtful also to thank those who participated and become involved in the preparation and in the actual event.
Sending thank you cards can be a way to still stay in contact and in open communication with the people who attend the memorial. It can be a great start to your journey after the passing away of a loved one.
Memorial service is a time to remember the person you love. It allows family to heal and recover from pain without forgetting the person. It makes the event more memorable if family and relatives, including closest friends and co-workers, are present. To make the planning easy and less the stress, there are professional memorial service organizers who can help through. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance when necessary. You can give your loved ones unique memorial services and make it a memorable celebration of life.