Memorial services allow people to come together and honor the person who has passed.
Each culture has its own practices, and these rituals can be as loose or as structured as the deceased wanted. A significant part of these rituals is to allow everyone to say farewell and share the memories they will hold of that individual in the years ahead.
If the deceased did not write his or her own obituary, and did not provide specific guidance, ask the funeral director or local paper for advice. Alternatively, you can find many resources online to help you write the obituary.
Details of the memorial service, requests for donations, and religious customs (ie. wakes or Shiva) should be included in the obituary. For traditional burilas, if it is open to everyone, you will need to inform people of the time of the graveside service. INCLUDE: DATES, TIME, ADDRESSES
You may also want to speak with other family members, friends, and clergy to create a more personalized ceremony. Everyone has a unique perspectives on the deceased's life, providing other ideas for well-rounded eulogy.
Above all else - be respectful of the loved one's memory.You need multiple Death Certificates to settle the formalities of an estate of someone who has died. You will almost always wish you had ordered several more at the start of the process.
And if the family requests donations in lieu of flowers , include it in the obituary.
Also, remember to notify local police or have a neighbor stay at the home while you are at the memorial services. Thieves often choose such times to rob empty houses.
The details for the memorial service(s) are normally included in the obituary. If the services are to be held at a funeral home or a crematorium, the information is likely to be available on their website as well.
The minimum information for the funeral or memorial service should include:
If there is a traditional burial, you will need to note the time for the graveside services, as well and include the name and address of the cemetery.
In many cases, flowers are customary for the funeral home and cemetery. Hopefully, the deceased will have recorded their floral preferences in a death detail preparation form, such as our When I Leave You form.
Alternatively, he or she (or the family) may indicate a preference for donations in lieu of flowers. Be sure to include the details - with a website address, if possible, for whatever charity the deceased (or the family) designated for these donations.
The request for donations in lieu of flowers will also need to be included in the obituary!
If the memorial service is held outside of the family's home, you will also want to indicate if the family will be receiving visitors, and, if so, the address, dates, and times that they will be inviting people to their home.
You need to be aware that there may be different practices based on religious affiliations.
For example, sending flowers to a Jewish family is not the custom; a fruit basket or other food basket is typically sent. The fruit or food basket comes from the traditional of the immediate family not leaving the home for the seven days of mourning., which is "sitting Shiva" in the Jewish religion.
Again, check either with a family member or the funeral home/clergy for more guidance.
Irrespective of the location and timing of the memorial service, it is common to have family and/or friends speak about their personal relationship with the deceased. These readings may be a close family member or friend speaking from the heart, or from a holy book such as the Bible, Quran, or Torah, or a passage from secular text.
If the deceased left specific instructions, by all means, do what you can to honor them. If this is not the case, seek guidance from the religious leader on appropriate religious or spiritual services. Confer with family and friends to select secular readings.
Whether liturgical or secular, music is normally a part of the funeral rites. In some cultures, the memorial service is considered a celebration of the person's life, and there is dancing and festivity.
Indeed, New Orleans is well-known for its Jazz Funeral procession that helps the deceased find their way to heaven and enables the mourners to begin the healing process.
In the preplanning process, the deceased will have indicated a preference for which music is to be played. If you have those requests, try to honor them. If clear instructions were not provided:
Memorial cards are small, sturdy, laminated cards, about the size of a playing card, that offer a tribute to the deceased. They may be referred to as funeral cards, memoriam cards, or prayer cards. Regardlessof the name, the cards are a meaningful keepsake for those who attend services for the deceased.
Memorial cards are normally religious or devotional. They usually feature a photo of the deceased and an inspirational image on the front. The reverse side will feature a poem, scripture, or brief biography of the deceased. The text may have been selected by the deceased. If not, the funeral director or a religious leader may be able to help with an appropriate selection.
Most funeral homes/crematoriums will offer to have these cards printed and available at the funeral home/crematorium during the visitation hours and services.
While most cards are still spiritual, it is more and more common to see secular themes. In reality, you can choose the design or consider what the deceased who have preferred.
Mass cards are part of the Catholic tradition. These cards signify that their loved one will be honored in a Mass at a future date. This gift to the family is typically well received.
Mass cards are available at most Catholic churches for a nominal fee.
Funeral? Cremation? Green Funeral? Etc.
Funeral? Cremation? Green Funeral? Etc.
Services and obituaries personalize the passing and often help with closure
Reminders on calls to make and notifications to pass along
Step-by-step guide on what to do first. Calls, paperwork, care arrangements, etc.
Detailed guide to preparing or fulfilling final wishes
Next hurdle - how to handle financial records and accounts
Key reiminders on securing residences - owned and rented, apartments and houses - after a loved one's death
What you need to know to protect and eliminate the deceased's digtial presence
Don't forget subscriptions, memberships, and more...
Funny, helpful and special stories shared by others to help you through the process
For each section, download and personalize a pdf checklist