Celebrating the life of a loved one can be a very difficult thing to do. Trying to pack years of stories, relationships and experiences into a half hour is impossible. However with the right combination of atmosphere, people, music and stories, you can paint a picture that won’t soon be forgotten by the relatives and friends in attendance.
Listed below are the top 5 things that have made memorial services more memorable and meaningful over the past 10 years. As you read through, keep an open mind and be creative. The memorial service should be as unique as the person you are remembering.
1. Two meaningful eulogies, one delivered by a family member and one by a friend, are very important to portray an accurate picture of the deceased. A family member will typically discuss the softer side of the deceased that the family loved them for and the friend will depict the more
Ahead of time, ask a few people to go up during this time so it seems unplanned. That will cause a domino effect and others will usually follow. Unfortunately, we don’t say enough to those we love in life, but in death we share our deepest emotions. This will surely enrich the memorial service.
2. Music is to some degree or another part of all our lives and has a huge place in the memorial service. While people are arriving, have the deceased’s favorite music playing in the background.
As part of the service, when friends are all seated and listening to the minister or master of ceremonies, pick a special song to play for everyone to listen to as part of the service. Ask everyone to listen and think of the deceased. It’s amazing how strongly this will affect the congregation.
Also consider playing a specific song at the end of the service as people are leaving. Something positive so people leave happy.
3. Pictures and Movies will always be the best memorialization of people because it’s actually them in the movie or picture. Be sure to use a facility where a slideshow can be played. Also, picture boards can be spread about the service location for people to view as they mingle before and after the service.
If you have movies of the deceased, consider editing them together to form a memorial movie to play during the service. If you need help, ask the funeral home or a friend with experience in this field.
4. Personal items placed around the focal point (urn, picture, etc.) are also an extremely important way to create a memorable memorial service. Golf clubs for the golfer, gardening tools and plants for the gardener, a favorite car, tool box, cooking paraphernalia, anything that the person held dear.
Items that they used in life add a real life aspect to the memorial that people appreciate.
5. A gift will never be forgotten and neither will the memorial service. At the end of the service, give everyone something to take home with them that will remind them of the service. Something unique to the person who has passed away. A favorite food, something to plant and watch grow, a copy of a magazine they used to read or a CD with their favorite song. Anything that will remind them of the deceased. Even long after the gift is gone, they will always remember that they got it.
These tips are based on years of experiencing the most meaningful and memorable memorial services from some of the most creative families. We hope they help you in creating a lasting memory.