A memorial service is a service held after death and without the body of the deceased present. It is less a time for mourning as a time to celebrate and remember the person's life. A memorial service may seem complicated to plan, especially if you're planning your first one. However, an organized approach to memorial day service planning will make the task manageable.
Memorial Service Etiquette
Memorial service etiquette requires consideration of music, content, and speeches most appropriate for the friends and family of the departed. Develop a memorial day service liturgy or an outline of the service. This will usually include a flow from the greeting, to some memorial service prayers, to a eulogy. Memorial service etiquette usually calls for a family member or close friend to give the eulogy, unless the family wishes a clergy person or funeral director to take that task.
Memorial Service Readings
When crafting memorial service messages, the speaker will want to balance a matter-of-fact account of the chronology of the deceased's life with personal reflections and memories. After the eulogy, families sometimes invite others to come forward and share memories. These are usually followed with the reading of some memorial service Bible verses. Memorial service music can be played at any point during the service. If desired, family members can read memorial service poems or letters written by the deceased. The goal of the service is to create a tone of peace, thankfulness, and celebration and honor of a life. The outline of the service can then be used to create a memorial service program template.
Memorial service Bible verses might include a reading of Psalm 23. Psalm 90 gives a sweeping view of how brief life can be and how God plays a role in the span of a person's life. Often people are comforted by passages that speak of the promise of eternal life, such as John 14:1-4 and Revelation 21:1-4.
Memorial service hymns are a way to provide unity and worship during the memorial day services. Popular memorial service hymns include In The Garden, Amazing Grace, and Great is Thy Faithfulness. Often, people sing the lyrics to the Lord's Prayer.
Guideline for a Memorial Service Program
- Decide the day and time of the service. Memorial services may be weeks, months, or years after death. For those who served in the military, a Memorial Day service is a fitting choice.
- Choose a location: Memorial services may be indoor or outdoor.
- Create a guest list: Decide if you want many or few at the service.
- Find someone to lead the service: A member of the clergy, professional memorial spokesman, or someone close to the deceased are appropriate choices to lead a memorial service.
- Get family members and friends involved as speakers, readers, singers, musicians.
- Include flowers, programs and refreshments.
Decorations appropriate for a memorial service include memorial service flowers, often in the form of a wreath on a tripod. Florists are skilled at producing proper arrangements. There should be a table near the entryway of the church or mortuary so that people can place memorial service cards on it to express their consolations. For a military memorial day service , it's also appropriate to display medals and the uniform of the deceased. The Collage of pictures gives mourners the chance to remember the deceased at various stages of life.
Once the details are planned, you may want to consider printing memorial service programs. These usually include an outline of the service so that participants can follow along. It may also list the family members who have survived the deceased. It is common on the memorial day service program to include a Bible passage or poem in which the deceased found comfort. A memorial service program can easily be printed at a local copier. The details may seem overwhelming at first glance, but organization will make them manageable.
Memorial Service Ideas
You can exercise more creativity with a memorial service than with a funeral. Consider these unique memorial service ideas:
- Themes: For an artist, hold the service in a local art museum; for a country-loving soul, make blue jeans and cowboy hats the attire. Consider a medieval funeral, Viking-style send-off or a treasure hunt.
- Provide a stage and microphone and allow everyone to say a few words.
- Set up a memorial table and display items that were important to, or are representative of, the deceased.