WHAT IS A MEMORIAL SERVICE?
Unlike a traditional funeral, a memorial service is a gathering where a casket is not present (although the urn with the cremated remains may be on display). A memorial service can be held weeks, months even a year after the death.
A memorial service can be held in a church, the funeral home, or a community building. There is usually music, selected readings, and a eulogy.
Memorial Service Ideas
Many of today's families want to do a little more than just a traditional funeral. This can be done by bringing more of the personality and lifestyle of the deceased into the arrangements. By displaying photographs or staging the event around a favorite pastime, a memorial service can become more personal and meaningful.
If a personalized memorial service suits the needs of your family, we suggest you consider the following questions:
- What were your loved ones passions or hobbies?
- What was he or she like as an individual?
- What was their profession and how did that shape their life?
- Was your loved one spiritual?
- Was he or she proud of their cultural or ethnic heritage?
Why a Memorial Service?
Rather than opting to do things "the same old way", many families today want to celebrate the life of a loved one.
How Does a Celebration-of-Life Differ from a Traditional Funeral?
There are four basic components which make up the conventional approach to funerals:
• A Visitation
• The Funeral Service
• The Cemetery Burial
• The Funeral Reception
A traditional funeral then is a series of events; it's a ritualized process where the deceased, and the attendees, pass from one social status to another; a process where the torn fabric of a family and community is repaired. This is done by:
* Symbols of shared significance intended to communicate beyond words
*Ritual actions shared by a group of individuals
*Gathered people providing comfort to one another
* Connection to heritage through recognized readings
* Increased physical contact between attendees provide comfort
* Witnessing the transition of the body through burial or cremation
In knowing these characteristics, you can design a celebration-of-life–as unique as the life of your loved.
Call us at (812) 591-2571 and we will gladly spend the time to discuss with you the best services available.
Many families today want a service which celebrates the life of their loved one. We introduce them to the concept of a celebration-of-life, and provide support in designing a celebration-of-life that is as unique as the life of their loved one.
We'll admit it; we always enjoy working together with families in planning a celebration-of-life for their loved one. While it can be a challenge to put together an event that both pays tribute to and celebrates the life and spirit of, a complex individual; it's also one of the most rewarding things any one of us can do for someone we've loved and lost.
Sarah York opens her beautifully-crafted book, Remembering Well, with the very personal story about how her family chose to pay tribute to her mother. "My mother died in April 1983 in her home in the mountains of North Carolina. She didn't want a funeral. "Get together and have a party," she had said when the topic was allowed to come up." However, she was quick to tell readers that the survivors did not honor the request. "We needed the ritual. We needed to say good-bye, but we also needed a ritual that would honor her spirit and would be faithful to her values and beliefs."
When Ms. York acknowledge the position of her family; that they needed not a party but a ritual; she teaches us all something important: the celebration-of-life events we plan with families should be shaped as much by their own emotional and spiritual needs, as their desire to celebrate the life lived.
While celebrations-of-life are not burdened by social expectations–they can be pretty much anything you want them to be–it's important to realize that the event you're planning should meet the emotional needs of the guests. So, think about exactly who will be there, and what they're likely to want or need. Then, bring in those unique lifestyle and personality characteristics of the deceased; perhaps add live music or refreshments, and you've got the beginnings of a remarkable celebration-of-life. In the end, the goal is to find the balance between the surviving family and the deceased wishes.
Celebrations-of-life are intended to lift everyone's spirits by focusing on positive memories.