Memorial service is a kind of service organized in the name of the deceased. In this service, family members, close friends and associated come together and share stories and their thoughts related to the deceased. Memorial service can be described as an occasion where life of the dead person is celebrated without the presence of the dead body. Nothing sad but just the good memories are shared here.
It is very essential to plan one memorial service in a proper way so that the spirit of celebration can be left by those who are present here. There are many things that you need to consider in order to plan a successful memorial service.
To help you out, here are certain points:
Finalize the date:
Plan for a memorial service only after the mourning time has passed. There should be enough time gap between the funeral service and memorial service so that family members and friends have enough time to accept the death of the person from whom you are planning a memorial service. As death is often sudden, many people cannot come in the funeral service and would love to come in the memorial service to show their love and respect towards the deceased. So, you need to fix an appropriate date and inform others so that guests can have plenty of time to make travel arrangements.
Decide on the type of memorial service:
You need to give some thought to what kind of memorial service you want to plan for the deceased. As far as a memorial service is concerned, you can plan a big gathering at a hotel, a simple small informal gathering at the beach or a simple service at your local church or community hall. Your budget and the number of guests you are planning to invite can help you on deciding the type of memorial service you can plan.
Finalize the location and time:
Once you know what type of memorial service you are planning, you need to finalize the location, venue and time. For instance if you are organizing a memorial service in a community hall or a local church, you need to do the bookings in advance. Also finalizing the time is important if you are planning a memorial service in an open space like a beach or a park. Depending upon the time of the service, you need to take care of lightings, decorations, type of snacks and so on.
In case you have relatives living in different corners of the world, you need to invite your guests in advance so that they can make all the necessary arrangements and plan accordingly to attend the memorial service. It is up to your personal preference as whether you want to send written invitations or inform the guests by making phone calls. In case the deceased is a very well known person, you can also a public announcement through print or electronic media. No matter what making a guest list and then inviting them is a time consuming process. So, you need to do it in advance.
Make a list of speakers:
Suppose there are hundred people attending a memorial service, then it is not practical to allow each and every one to speak something about the deceased. This will create a huge confusion. So, it is better to select a clergyman or hire a professional speaker or you can also ask someone close family member or friend of the deceased to do most of the speaking and presentation. Just ask family members and close friends to speak and you must make sure that people selected by you are comfortable with public speaking. Inform the speakers to prepare their speech in advance and it must not be too long.
Highlight the life of the deceased:
A memorial service will be incomplete if you ignore the likings of the deceased. Every person has a favorite poem, writer, quote or some proverb. Make a list of such things that the deceased loved. Note down all the favorite poems, quotes liked by the deceased or a small letter written by the deceased. When you ask the speaker to read out such special things it adds depth to the overall ceremony.
Choose a good music:
Without music no celebration is complete. As a memorial service is organized to celebrate life you need to choose appropriate music to add an emotional dimension to the occasion. Choose the music carefully and you must play some of the favorite numbers of the deceased. Avoid loud music as it will not go well with the mood of the service. You can use a music system or if your budget allows you can even choose live music in the form of a choir, soloist or a talented musician. If someone close to the deceased is a talented singer or musician you can ask him or her to do the honor.
Think about the decoration part:
Whether you are planning a small gathering at the beach or a big memorial service with hundred of guests, you need to decorate the venue in a special way that reminds people of the deceased. Give a personal touch to the overall decoration by displaying family photos of the deceased, mementos, hobby items, favorite flowers and so on. You can also use candles to decorate the venue. Keep a guestbook so that by the end of the day you can sit back and see how people still remember the deceased.
It is important to serve some kind of refreshment to the guests present to the memorial service. It is better to choose light snacks and drinks but if you want you can also plan for a proper dinner or lunch. When deciding on food, make sure to include some of the favorite foods of the deceased. Assign someone to be in charge of refreshments, such as food, snacks, desserts and beverages. Make sure to serve the food immediately after the service. It is advisable not to serve alcohol at a memorial service.
To conclude, a memorial service is simply all about remembering the deceased. Be it a small or a big event, it should be done in a very special way. This will help the guests to remember the memorial service for a long time. A memorial service is a token of love and respect towards the deceased.