The nice part of a memorial service is that you have additional time to plan and think about what you want to do and how you want it done rather than a three day rush of planning a funeral while you are in the midst of grieving.
A memorial service can be conducted at any time that fits best into your schedule; however, be sure you don't let too much time go by.
A memorial service can be religious or non-religious (secular).
First, choose the memorial service time and location. The location possibilities are endless:
The Memorial service can be elaborate or simple. You can ask guests to contribute food items or order catered food and refreshments, you may or may not want to organize a program with music , speakers, decorations, etc.
If you choose to do a more structured memorial service, consider the following:
Have guest leave the memorial service with a memento such as a tulip bulb or another type of Perennial which will remind people of your loved one on a yearly basis. Just put out a basket with a note asking attendees to plant the bulb in honor of the deceased. Some other memento ideas:
Remember you can hold a memorial celebration every year around the death anniversary or the one, five, or ten year anniversaries
You may also use the memorial service as an opportunity to scatter ashes:
One of the very nicest most personal ways to commemorate a loved one, is through sharing a home movie. Produce a short 10 minutes or less -video and show it as part of the ceremony, or have a special viewing area that people can view at their leisure. Attendees will love it.
I can not stress enough what a wonderful touch this is. For those who find current technology a bit baffling, there is always someone who can help you pull this together. Contact a friend or family member who may be familiar with how to edit a home movies on the computer or hire someone to do this for you. Afterwards you have a wonderful keepsake.
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