What Happens At A Memorial Service?

As the name suggests, a memorial service is organized in order to memorialize a deceased. Thus, it is a great way to pay a tribute to the departed loved one and commemorate a life well lived.

Memorial services are often considered as the same as funerals, but there is a difference between the two. More often than not, memorial services are arranged for deceased individuals when the human remains are not present or are unbearable to see.

Memorial service

Thus, a memorial service is usually held after cremation. Besides, it is a good option when the deceased may have died in some other country or donated his or body to science.

The service is generally held within a week of death. Nevertheless, if it is not feasible to have it soon, then it can be postponed further to a special occasion like the departed loved one’s birthday or anniversary.

All in all, a memorial service is more informal when compared to a funeral. There is no need for viewing or visitation, yet you may keep the cremation urn in the ceremony.

Cremation refers to reducing the body into its natural elements by subjecting it to high temperatures in a crematory within a crematorium. You may find more information about cremation at Cremation Resource website.

“Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Plus, you can include prayers in the ceremony, whether recited by yourself, a clergy, or by all the attendees together.

In addition, you can share your memories of the deceased during the ceremony and encourage others as well to share their endearing memories and beautiful stories associated with the departed loved one.

It is not necessary to insist all the participants to speak; instead, you may request them to write about their memories, thoughts, even poems about the deceased on a card or a paper and merge all these messages in a memorial scrap book along with photos to help relive special moments.

Besides, in case the service is to be held after cremation, consider involving the near and dear ones in honoring the deceased by scattering the ashes.

When planning this ceremony, though, you need to decide beforehand the way you want to dispose of the loved one.

For instance, you can hold the memorial service on a beach and disperse the ashes using the trenching technique.

Simple put, it involves digging a shallow trench or groove in the soil and pouring the cremated remains in it. You can give the trench an interesting shape like that of a circle, heart, etc. and light candles around it.

This idea works particularly well when you time it in such a way that the tide swiftly comes, breaks down your trench, and finally takes it away to the sea.

In case you want to simply scatter the ashes in the air while on a beach then make sure you check the direction of wind so that the ashes do not blow back at you.

You can buy endearing scattering urns and biodegradable urn for earth as well as water burial from Memorials.com, Stardust Memorials, UrnShopper.com, and various other online stores.

At times, people prefer to have a living memorial to pay a tribute to the deceased by putting small seeds of a tree in a biodegradable urn containing ashes so that when it disintegrates, a tree gradually grows where the urn is buried.

Moreover, a nice memorial service can be arranged on a boat or dock, too. You can personalize the memorial service by putting a memory table created by placing items that were meaningful for the deceased. For example, the table can include sports memorabilia to memorialize a sports fan.

Similarly, memorial notes, photos, and floral tributes can also be included. Usually, memorial services last for up to a couple of hours. A religious memorial service, however, is likely to take longer.


ICCFA, Consumer Resource Guide- Funerals

DeathWise, Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service

WikiHow, How to Plan a Memorial Service

Ideas for Organizing a Memorial Service

US Funerals Online, Ash Scattering

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