How to plan a funeral or memorial serviceby Kate Anderson
Note: Although a funeral service and memorial service provide similar experiences with the same purpose there are difference between the two. To put it simply, a funeral service is one where the body of the deceased is present — this typically occurs within a week of their passing. A memorial service typically occurs following the cremation or burial as a time to memorialize the deceased and can consist of spreading the ashes if cremation was decided on. It’s not uncommon for both events to take place to celebrate the life of a loved one, with the memorial service followed by the funeral service
Determine if any pre-arrangements were made
Decide on a final resting place
Arrange the plans
- If you’ve decided on burial, will there be a casket? Will it be open or closed?
- If you’ve decided on cremation, will the urn be present? Will you be spreading the ashes or a portion of the ashes?
- Do religious traditions that need to be considered?
- Do you want framed photos of your loved one?
- Videos to share during the service?
- Memorabilia displayed?
- Songs to be sung or played during the service?
Draft and submit an obituary
- Full name and nickname if applicable
- Date of Death
- Family information - Spouses, Siblings, Children, Parents
- Honors and awards
- Details about their passions, hobbies, professional life
- Charity or Non-profit cause to make a donation to if desired
- If the services will be open to the public you may also want to include the location, date and time of the gatherings