Cremation Memorial Service Ideas

Cremation offers versatility in memorialization.  If a family member has been cremated, and you are planning a cremation memorial service, this guide can help you discover everything you need to know about how to creatively memorialize a loved one.

beach memorial servicesIf a family member preplanned a cremation, he or she may have planned some ideas about what kind of memorial service they wanted.  However, very often it is left to surviving family members to decide on, and plan, a memorial service.  It can seem a daunting task to be responsible for arranging a memorial service, but the information below should help you honor a lost loved one and create a befitting tribute.

When should you hold a cremation memorial service?

The flexibility of holding a memorial service, as the deceased’s body is not present, means it can be held at any time after the death.  A cremation memorial can be held immediately after the cremation, or a period of time can elapse.  Sometimes families find it be easier to plan for, and have time to grieve, before holding a memorial service.

Being able to take time, and coordinate gathering together those you wish to invite, can lead to a more meaningful service.

Where can you hold a cremation memorial service?

A memorial service can be held wherever you choose, or feel was significant to the deceased.  It can be at a place of worship, or a graveside service.  Alternatively, you can be imaginative and host a service somewhere more unconventional.  Some families conduct a memorial service as part of an ash-scattering, and therefore opt to have the memorial service outdoors.

What elements make up a memorial service?

Cremation optionsI would dare to say there is no set format to how a memorial service should be conducted.  However, it is considered customary to deliver a eulogy, pay tribute to the life of the deceased, and conduct some form of final disposition of the remains.

There are many other elements that can form part of a memorial service, including photo boards, slideshows, video, and music.  These days families are also choosing to hold memorial services that are Life Celebration events that can involve dove, lantern or butterfly releases as a final tribute and metaphorical symbol.  Guests can all be asked to wear something, or a color, that was special to the deceased.

Tips on how to prepare a tribute for a memorial

Planning is the cornerstone of any successful event, and a memorial service is no different.  Sometimes, this is why a family prefers to employ a funeral director or life celebrant to help plan and host a memorial service, as these professionals have skills and experience.  However, some families choose to prepare and hold a service themselves.  This just requires some preparation.

Cremation Memorial Service

The cremation urn:

  • Will the urn be present at the memorial service? And if so, do you need to set up an urn arrangement or altar?
  • If a scattering is to be conducted as part of the memorial service, think about the techniques for scattering cremated remains safely.

Eulogy:

  • Decide who is going to be responsible for delivering the eulogy or final words at the service.
  • Ensure that he or she has had time to prepare, and that the context of their eulogy meets the audience and the tone of the memorial service.

Location:

  • Think about a suitable location.
  • Is it somewhere sentimental to the deceased?
  • Is it easily accessible for all guests?

Tributes:

  • Do you want to have flowers or other memorial tributes? Or donations to a cause close to the deceased’s heart?
  • Will a presentation be made by slideshow or video? Do you want music playing? And is there a suitable power point?
  • If you want to have a memory book for everyone to sign, is there somewhere suitable to locate it?

A cremation memorial service can be as short, or as long, as you wish for it to be, and as appropriate.  Memorializing after cremation does present so many more options than holding a traditional funeral service.  We are becoming more embracing of the unconventional and contemporary in our funeral rituals, so being creative and personalizing a memorial service, can make it so much more meaningful for all those who attend to say their final goodbyes.

Cremation & Memorialization: Conducting your own memorial service

cremation-memorialOne of the most significant changes happening in the funeral industry today is the fragmentation of professional services.  For many years we have entrusted the funeral home to handle all aspects of the death ritual, from collecting and preparing the deceased to delivering a eulogy.  This may have all seemed very relevant in times when the funeral director most likely knew the deceased in person or through his community.  However, this is not so much the case now where funeral directors can be handling the services for a deceased person that they have never met!

This raises the issue of how effectively a funeral home can assist a family memorialize a person that they have no prior knowledge of, and is but one driver in why more families today are opting to conduct their own cremation memorial services.

Funeral directors can cremate: Families can memorialize!

Industry critics talk about how the industry is separating into the disposition and memorialization elements.  The disposition element continues to be served very well by funeral professionals, and cremation is offering a simple and low cost disposition option.  A basic cremation without any services (known in the trade as a direct cremation or immediate cremation) can be conducted in most cities for between $795 and $1,195.  This handles the complete disposition process simply, efficiently and at a manageable cost.

Once the cremated remains are returned to the family they can than arrange to conduct a cremation memorial service.  This can be arranged at a time and place that is entirely suitable for the family.  Memorial services can be held at home, in a place of worship or a community venue.  In fact, you can even hold a memorial service at a golf club!  They can be held with the cremated remains present, or without.  A memorial service can be held to scatter cremated remains, or to distribute keepsake cremation urns between family members.

Not only can the family arrange to conduct their own memorial service which can be uniquely personalized, but they can do it at a fraction of the cost a traditional funeral service at a funeral home would have cost.

memorial_board_makingLife celebrations: Tributes that are uniquely personal

No one can best memorialize a lost loved one than the family who hold those shared memories of the deceased.  Funerals are becoming less somber events and more about creating an uplifting celebration of a life lived.  The number of celebrants is increasing as families use the services of a professional to deliver secular celebration services.  However, where they feel capable the family can prepare and deliver their own tribute service.  A benefit of being able to arrange a timely cremation and postpone the funeral service is that it gives the family a chance to immediately grieve without being forced to make decisions about a funeral service.  The service can be arranged at a later date when the family feels ready to address the memorial aspect of remembering their lost loved one.

Save money by creating your own memorial tributes

If you wish to conduct your own memorial services and keep costs down, then there are various options available for how you can make your own memorial tributes.  You can download templates for memorial cards, set up free online memorial pages, and create your own memory boards, candles and wreaths.  All it takes is a little bit of time, imagination and desire to completely make your tribute personal.