Planning a memorial service can be both overwhelming and stressful. You are already dealing with the loss of a loved one and now you have to handle all funeral services and then, plan a memorial service. With these easy planning tips, you can breeze through the planning and focus on giving your loved one the memorial service that they deserve.
Handle all of the funeral arrangements first
A memorial service usually comes after the funeral. Sometimes, it will take place on the same day and other times, it will be a couple of days later. Focus on getting the funeral arrangements out of the way first. Look at funeral caskets, choose a funeral home to go through, and plan the actual funeral. Once you have an idea of the location and date of the funeral, you have a starting point for the memorial service.
Decide on the date and time
If it makes sense to hold the memorial service immediately following the funeral, then plan them for the same date. However, if you feel that it might be too busy or overwhelming, it is also acceptable to schedule them on different dates. Once you have a date and time in mind, you can work with your funeral planning advisor to rent a space for the memorial service. Approximately 82% of Harris Poll survey respondents said funeral professionals provide valuable services.
Hire a caterer
Most memorial services provide food for the guests. If you plan to serve a meal, you will want to hire a caterer as soon as possible. Consider the time of the event and plan your meal around that. For example, if you will be hosting a lunchtime memorial service, sandwiches and salads are a good option. A dinnertime memorial might require more filling of a meal. If you don?t want to cover the costs for a full memorial meal, consider inviting everyone out to dinner following the service. If they decide to come, they will cover their own food costs.
Plan the memorial contents
According to a 2015 Harris Poll survey, 82% of people over age 40 say a funeral or memorial service helps pay tribute to the life of a friend or family member. The memorial service is the time you get to remember and share memories of your loved one. You might choose to invite a religious speaker. You could also share some songs that you find meaningful. Many people choose to include speeches. Choose the people that were closest to your loved one and ask them to speak in memory of them. You don?t have to worry too much about planning the contents as services are generally not very long.
Set up a fundraising event
Another way to remember your loved one is to ask attendees to donate in honor of a favorite charity. This could be a charity that your loved one supported or a local organization. If the person is leaving behind a family with young children, it is also acceptable to ask for donations to cover living and college expenses. There are also financial organizations that will help cover the cost of funeral arrangements. For example, for nonservice related deaths, the maximum VA burial allowance ranges from $300 for veterans who were not hospitalized in a VA facility, to $700 for veterans who were hospitalized with the VA at the time of death.
The memorial service is your chance to remember and celebrate a lost loved one in the family. If you are looking for information how to plan a memorial service, you will find that the funeral professionals are a beneficial resource. Also, remember that there is no right way or wrong way to hold a memorial service. Do what works for you and your family.