Memorializing The Passing Of A Loved One


If you find yourself in need of planning memorial services for a friend or family member, there are several different options. The number and type of services depend on how best to honor the person's final wishes and how they wish to be remembered. Here are some of the typical options to consider when planning this final tribute to your loved one.

Visitation Services

This is the first of a series of memorial services that can be held. This is a small, informal service designed for those who may not go to the full funeral service later on, but who wish to pay their respects to the deceased and surviving family. There are several approaches to this particular service:

  • A viewing means the loved one's body is available for people to see at this small service. For a viewing, the body must be embalmed and properly prepared to rest in a casket during the viewing. If the person desires a cremation and a viewing, their body must still be embalmed for this service.
  • A visitation-only service means the body can be present but is not on display. The person is in a closed casket or other container during this service. This would be the preferred option if the person has been cremated.

During either of these services, people can come and go as they please. There are usually are no formal speakers, although you can have someone recite prayers to close the visitation session.

Memorial Services

This is the primary service held for the loved one. It can be held in the funeral home, or a church, temple or other religious facility. This service will normally be officiated by a religious representative, such as a priest or rabbi, or a family member in the case of a secular service.

Various people may speak at this memorial service and there could be a number of photographs or other personal artifacts present to honor the deceased. The service can be organized around a particular theme such as the person's accomplishments, hobbies or recreational interests. This is an opportunity to celebrate the person's life as they wished to be remembered.

The sealed casket or cremation urn is often present at this service, especially if there will be a grave-side service.

Grave-Side Services

This tends to be a small, intimate service held at the final resting place of the person. This is most often held directly after the memorial service. Family and close friends will attend this, although it is often open to anyone who wishes to be present. Clergy members or family will say some final words and prayers as the casket or urn is placed into the ground.

If the person was cremated, this service can be delayed as long as one wishes. A separate service can be scheduled at a later date for the urn to be placed into a columbarium vault or into the ground in a special area set aside for cremation burials.

Each of these services can be as simple or elaborate as desired to honor the loved one. The funeral director can help with the coordination of each of these services. They know how difficult it is to be the one in charge of planning a loved one's memorial services, so they are available to help as much as you wish. Talk to experts like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home Inc for more information.


26 March 2015

Planning Your Loved One’s Funeral

A couple of weeks ago, one of my dear family friend’s suffered the loss of her husband. After a brief illness, he passed away at a local hospital. Immediately after his passing, she started planning the funeral arrangements. She didn’t want his funeral to be a sad occasion. Instead, she wanted the service to celebrate his amazing life. She worked tirelessly with the professional staff at a local funeral home in order to plan the order and type of service for the funeral. On this blog, you will discover tips for planning a funeral service that will celebrate the life of your deceased loved one.