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How to Plan a Memorial Service

Many individuals may wish to plan a memorial service to honor the life of a loved one who has passed away. Learning how to plan a memorial service can help you organize a successful function that celebrates and respects the deceased. When planning a memorial service, there is a wide array of options available depending on the preferences of your deceased loved one and his or her family. A memorial can happen any time after a person passes away, at any place and within the budget of those organizing the service. This freedom often makes planning a memorial less complicated and more affordable than planning a funeral. You should still make a checklist to plan a memorial service in order to make sure you have all the components in place. A memorial usually happens apart from a funeral service, and does not include the body of the deceased in the service. For more information to help you arrange the details of your loved one’s memorial, read the information below. You can also download our comprehensive guide for further details and in-depth information.

What are the steps involved in planning a memorial service?

Before planning a memorial service, you should consider several factors to complete the process smoothly. On your checklist to plan a memorial service, the first task that you need to complete involves deciding on a budget for the occasion. When you plan a memorial, you should inform other loved ones that you are going to do so, as they may want to contribute or share the cost with you. While planning a memorial, keep this budget in mind as you make decisions about the service, so you do not go over your cost limit. Another factor to include on your memorial planning checklist relates to the wishes of your deceased loved one and family. As you choose a location and decide on the details of the service, reflect on what details your loved one would have enjoyed for his or her memorial. Check if the deceased left any wishes for a memorial in writing, whether in his or her will or elsewhere. Consider the wishes of the attendees as well, because the memorial will be a space for them to express their grief.

The next step in planning a memorial service is deciding on the mood of the service you would like to have. Depending on your memorial planning budget and the deceased’s end of life arrangements, the service can be formal and structured or informal and casual. It can also be a more religious memorial. You can plan a memorial to include only close family members or be open to the entire community. If your deceased loved one is a veteran, consult with veteran services for help planning the service. When researching how to plan a memorial service, you should also decide when the memorial will happen by choosing a general timeframe for the service. Plan the memorial to be at the best time for you and your loved ones. You can plan a memorial that can be weeks, months or longer after a death, depending on the date most convenient for those attending. You may have to change the date of the service based on the availability of the venue, speakers and attendees, so flexibility is important during this planning period. Now, choose a location for the event. When trying to choose a location, remember the service can happen any place you wish, indoor or outdoor.

If your loved one was religious, planning a memorial service at his or her place of worship is an option to consider. For some, planning a memorial at home is a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective option. A home can be a comforting space for grieving and celebrating the life of a person without time constraints. After you have picked a location, you can decide on the details of the service. If you are unsure about how to approach the memorial planning process while trying to organize your loved one’s end of life affairs, keep in mind that such a function serves as a reflection of your loved one’s life and accomplishments. You can plan the memorial service to include speakers, readings, sharing stores of the deceased or religious ceremonies. If the service is held at a place of worship, you may want a religious official to make a speech. Check the availability of the person whom you want to speak at the event. Other details include flowers, music, food and drinks.

Now that you have planned the memorial service in full detail, send out invitations or a notice of the event an adequate amount of time before the memorial. If you are planning a memorial service that is invitation-only, be sure to include your contact information for attendees to RSVP with you for the service, so you can get a general idea of how many guests to expect at the memorial. For more details, download our guide.