Once you lose a loved one, you may decide to hold a memorial service to celebrate his or her life. In this excerpt, you will learn how to plan and execute a successful memorial service.
Your choice of location will be guided by the wishes and beliefs of the deceased. For instance, if the deceased was religious, you may opt to hold the memorial in his or her place of worship. Besides, some people's wills state where they would want their memorial service to be held. Nonetheless, the venue has to be convenient for those attending. It should be accessible and secure and have adequate parking. A few days before the memorial, prepare the venue by ensuring it is clean and organised. You may also have some décor such as flowers.
The immediate family members should decide whom they would want in the memorial. Send invitations by post or through email. Also, place an obituary in the local dailies to ensure close friends and family know of the person's passing. If the person was a public figure, include the date and time of the memorial in the obituary.
Below are essential things to consider to help you prepare a memorial program:
- Speakers. Whom would you want to speak during the service? Close family, friends, associates and religious leaders should be part of the guest speakers.
- Length of service. How much time do you have? A memorial service should not be very long. As such, do not have many items on the program.
- Entertainment. Ask close friends and family if they wish to sing a song or recite a poem during the memorial. Music played during the event should be funeral-friendly. Also, you can prepare a short film of the life and times of the deceased.
- Programs. You can choose to print out the memorial program or send it to guests together with their invitations.
Consider hiring a professional filmmaker if you would want to film the event. You may opt to live stream the memorial if there are friends and family who are unable to attend the memorial. Create an online page to ensure guests attending the event can access their photos.
After the memorial, you can organise a small party for close friends and family. Ask a caterer to prepare food and drinks. Be careful when serving alcoholic beverages since some guests may overindulge as a way of coping with their grief.
When planning a memorial service, consider the location, invitations, program, documentation and catering.