A Bittersweet Goodbye: A Blog About Funerals

How to Hold a Meaningful Funeral Memorial Service

When someone passes away, they leave behind friends and family who mourn their passing. Their remains will be cremated or embalmed by a funeral home, but most people also decide to hold a memorial service. A memorial service is a chance to say goodbye and gain closure. Here are four tips that will help you hold a meaningful funeral memorial service:

1. Observe faith traditions.

Some people are people of faith. Many religions have traditions and rituals surrounding death. Observing these traditions can bring your family comfort. Even if you are secular, you may still want to observe the traditions of your deceased loved one's faith. Doing so can be a way to honor their memory and respect their final wishes.

2. Choose a suitable location.

You can hold your funeral and the subsequent memorial service anywhere you choose. If your loved one is cremated, you may decide to scatter the ashes during the memorial service. To facilitate this, you may want to hold the service outdoors, in a place that was meaningful to them. You can also hold the memorial service at your family's place of worship. If you don't have any particular connection to outside sites, you can hold the memorial service at the funeral home. Funeral homes have comfortable chapel rooms where families can honor their deceased loved ones in private.

3. Invite people to contribute.

Memorial services are the appropriate time to remember and appreciate the life of the person you lost. Each person touches dozens of lives during their time on earth. Inviting attendees to share their experiences with the deceased can be healing and affirming for everyone. If the gathering is small, you can invite each person to come up and say something about the deceased individually. People with special musical skills or other talents may want to offer a performance as a tribute to the departed.

4. Serve your loved one's favorite foods.

It's customary to provide refreshments after a funeral service. Food is grounding, and it can help people feel more present and connected after an emotional service. You have the option of choosing to serve generic foods like coffee and doughnuts. However, you can make the meal more meaningful by serving foods your loved one enjoyed. Ask family members to provide homemade dishes, potluck style, to save money on catering costs. Homemade dishes can create a more authentic experience for everyone.