A memorial service is a chance for the family and friends that are left behind to grieve and say goodbye. However, they need to respect the wishes of the one who passed away as well as honor the life they lived no matter how short or long. When trying to decide what to include in your memorial service you need to discuss it with the entire immediate family. You don’t want anyone to feel left out during the process and them not feel like they got to pay their last respects how they wanted.

Officiant or Master of Ceremonies

In most circumstances the person who takes on this task is the religious leader or funeral director. However, if you are having an informal service this could be a close family member or friend. The Master of Ceremonies handles several different tasks including writing the eulogy. Make sure you provide whoever conducts the service personal information about your loved one so they can make it personalized and meaningful. Even if you have someone to speak at the service, give everyone an opportunity to speak or tell a story about the person who passed away. This helps everyone work through the grieving process and remember how the person was before they passed. Make sure you tell the person performing the service you want this included.

Memorial tribute or cards

These are the perfect handout for everyone to take home when visiting the service. These cards and tributes normally include the deceased’s information, photographs, and information about the service. They can also include inspirational quotes, poems, or scripture of choice. They also can include information about surviving relatives as well and anything else you feel visitors should know. This is a personalized memoir that people will keep forever to remember their passed loved one.

Decorations and music

Memorial services can often feel depressing and uninviting. Therefore to make everyone feel at ease and comfortable knowing the passed is in a better place, add some decorations and personal touches. If the deceased loved bright color incorporate that. Anything to give a touch of their presence. These decorations can be flowers, pictures and even candles. Also consider having a gallery area featuring pictures of their life for people to look at and remember. You can also ask friends and family if they have any pictures or decoration idea so they don’t feel left out. Another thing to make people more at ease and free to talk is music. By playing music in the background you break the silence, making people feel more relaxed.

Planning a memorial service can be tiring, especially after the death of your loved one. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Recruit the help from your friends as well as relatives. Give everyone a different responsibility if you would like or you all can tackle the task as a team. However you chose to handle it, just remember it gets easier with help.