A memorial service is intended to give meaning to a person’s life. It is a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to gather and remember their loved one while offering support and comfort to one another.
Here are a few suggestions on planning a memorable memorial service.
Pick a place to have it. Think of places that you and your friends and family would be comfortable. It doesn't have to be a funeral home.
Think of who you’re going to invite. Don't feel obligated to invite everyone.
Put together a budget. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Know what you can spend and work with that amount.
Decide on food and drink options. It is up to you how simple or elaborate you want the food and drinks to be.
Find a celebrant. If you are just having a little gathering with some cocktails and appetizers for 20 people, people still want time to reflect. Have someone put together a eulogy and present it. It’s nice for everyone to have a focal point and some time to reflect. This may only be 10 minutes to honor the person in ceremony, but it creates a focal point.
Create a flow of service that is easy for you to manage and comforting to people.
Most important: enlist help. You don't have to do all by yourself. Your family and friends are there for you.
Here are are few ideas to celebrate the life of your loved one:
Ask family and friends to bring their favorite photo to the memorial service and they could pin the photo onto the line. Have labels so people could fill in their name, address and e-mail address and place the label on the back of the photo. After the service, you can scan all the photos and create an online album to share with everyone who will find comfort and joy in seeing them.
Attach a photo from each year of your loved one's life to a balloon. After the service, friends and family can release the balloon.
Set up a memory table: display important items from your loved one's life. It makes a great place for guests to gather around and reminiscence. Have someone by the table to jot down all the sharing of memories. Then transcribe it and share with the memorial service guests, family and friends.