You may have seen on the television and in the media that some people and celebrities have a separate service a while after a Funeral service that brings family and friends together. Often held at a Church, this is called a Memorial Service. An additional and special ceremony that allows people to celebrate that person's life in a more relaxed atmosphere than the funeral.
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"With funeral costs rising at a disproportionate rate compared to other industries, we have taken a tough stance to assist both funeral directors and families together." - Dr. Hilary Jones
When a person dies there are only several days to get everyone notified and present for the day. It is unfortunately not always possible for everyone to attend. Often the funeral service itself and the facilities are contained too not providing as much room as would like or perhaps family have requested it be a close family affair only. This is an opportunity to ensure there is a memorial service organised for a later date.
It is worth noting that a service such of this should be warranted. There is little point going ahead with this unless you have consulted family first for their views and interest in attending. Also there may be specific instruction within a will pertaining to any future service.
Knowing that immediate family, extended family, friends and previous colleagues would be interested in getting together to day goodbye is a good beginning. From this point you can calculate how big a venue might be required and what form the function and memorial service should take.
With televised funeral services, less people need to make long journeys from other countries to attend a funeral service. That said, some people still wish to pay their respect. Consider who might attend, where they are travelling from and organise a memorial service for a date when the most can attend. This could be a few months ahead or a year marking the same date or the next person's birthday.
Church And Cemetery: There will no coffins or caskets and no burial to attend. This will be similar to a Sunday service congregation. When a Church is involved there will no doubt be religious texts involved, hymns may well be sung too and parables read out. It will be formal but informal at the same time. There may well bean attached function area for tea and biscuits or other food after. Providing a chance for guests to mingle. A keepsake programme may be provided for the service which may have photos and memories included.
Crematorium: Again there will be no caskets but a memorial service held at a crematorium will offer another distinct way for people to congregate and say goodbye. Music may be played, with hymns and readings. It will be a more relaxed affair from a church, less religious but hold to the same order and process of a memorial service, celebrating the person's life. Because previously it was a cremation, tokens of remembrance might bf offered to the congregation in the way of keepsakes or a memorial bush that can betaken home. Plus a memorial book of shared memories and photos.
Alternative Venues: A popular trend these days is to hold a gathering at a public venue. This could be a music hall because they loved classical music ora were a conductor. Perhaps at a local football stadium, because this is where they spent 10% of their life from childhood to senior years. It may even be a match day. A memorial service does not need to be overtly religious, and people can partake in many ways from fancy dress to speaking or entertaining at the event.
Celebrating a person's life, while this has been done as a Eulogy at the funeral service, does not need to be held in the same manner. You can book speakers, allow people themselves to speak more freely. You can book entertainers and have stars the person would have loved, show up. It is an extraordinary opportunity to throw a bash in the correct context for all to say Goodbye one last time and meet each other. Whether sombre or more lively, it will be a choice the family can make together.
Do consider however those that are too far away or to told travel and cannot make the memorial sevrice. The internet has a variety of wonderfully innovative way people can either watch or take part by adding their own memories and thoughts. From online tribute pages to an entire website. You may choose to offer the people attending a memorial book, token keepsake or allow people to donate to a specific charity.