If you’re planning a memorial service for a loved one, there are a number of ways you can personalise the service. Whether you want a religious ceremony or a secular service, there are all kinds of options. Consider the following ideas.
1. Favourite Place
Funeral and memorial services are designed as a way to say goodbye to the deceased person but also to offer comfort to those who are still living. It can help to have the service at the deceased person’s favourite place. For some, that may be a chapel or a formal place of worship, but for others, it may be a park, a beach or another place in nature.
Note that you may need to get a permit to hold a large gathering in some places, but a funeral director may be able to help you with that.
2. Memory Table
A common feature at many funerals and memorial services now is a memory table. A memory table is simply a table with a display of items that represents your loved one. That may be photograph, a special collection or just items that make others think of your loved one. You can bring all the items, or you can ask others to bring items that are meaningful to them and their memories of the deceased.
3. Memorial Book
You may also want to put out a memorial book. This is much more than just a guest book. Rather, people who come to the funeral put their memories of the loved one in the book. After the service, the person who is closest to the deceased person takes this book home. Reading those memories can be a cathartic experience through the grief process.
In lieu of doing a book, you may want to consider a memory tree. That’s simply a potted stick or small tree on which guests can hang written memories. Some people are also doing rock memorials where guests write memories on rocks. Those can be taken home, scattered with the ashes, laid on a grave or anything else that feels meaningful to you.
4. Elements From Other Cultures
Is there a place in the world that the deceased person loved to travel to? Is there a place he or she always wanted to go or a culture that fascinated him or her? Then you may want to integrate elements from that culture’s death rituals into your memorial service.
For instance, the ancient Egyptians used to send off their loved ones with a passport of the dead. This was a stone or metal tablet with an etching of the deceased person’s likeness and some instructions for navigating the afterlife. The ancient Greeks are well known for sending a few coins for their loved ones to use in the afterlife. You can make similar facsimiles and put them in the casket with your loved one prior to cremation.
Similarly, you could embrace the South Korean traditional of funeral beads. That basically involves turning the cremains into beads. If you have the memorial service after the cremation, you could even pass the beads out to special loved ones. In other cases, you may want to release doves.
5. Favourite Foods
Finally, if you are having a wake before the memorial, a reception after the service or a similar type of gathering, you may want to serve your loved one’s favourite foods. That can be a nice way to honour them.
If you need help planning your service or cremation for your loved one, contact Cremations Only today. We can have a celebrant come to your home and help you plan a moving tribute for your loved one.