A funeral is a time to celebrate the life and times of your loved one. There are seemingly endless ways to honor someone's life. These days, services can be eclectic and transcend the traditional, religious-based funeral services. The service can be a mix of religion, spirituality, and celebrating the person's life. If you've been chosen to plan a funeral or memorial service, you have some important decisions to make on behalf of your loved one.
Before proceeding, it's important to understand the difference between a memorial service and a funeral service. A memorial service does not have the body present, whereas a funeral service does. If you're planning a funeral service, meaning the body will be present, it's wise to work with a professional who can help assist with the logistics of transporting the body.
Planning the Funeral Service
Now, as a rule of thumb, the funeral service should be held in accordance with the deceased person's wishes if they stated how they want their funeral to transpire. As the person in charge of planning the event, it's entirely up to you what form their service will take.
Your first step in planning a funeral service is to decide on the type of service that will be held. Will the body be present? Will the body be buried or cremated afterwards? These are logistical questions that should be answered early in the planning process.
Making a Guest List
The second step is to make a list of everyone who will be attending. Create a comprehensive list of everyone who will be invited. Depending on the person, the deceased may have already put together an invitation list, which should be consulted. Once you've created the invite list, you'll need to decide how to notify the guests. If time permits, it's wise to send out physical invitations through the mail. Alternatively, you may contact them by phone.
Finding a Location
Thirdly, you'll need to select an appropriate location for the service. An ideal location will have enough room for all the people that are being invited. Many venues exist solely for funeral and memorial services, so visit many locations in your area before making a firm decision. For instance, consider holding the funeral at a funeral home like Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home. Be aware if you need reservations. If you'll be holding an outdoor service, check the weather report. Lastly, are there any special considerations that must be made?
It's important to write down your plans every step of the way. Commit every detail that you decide upon to writing so that it may be easily shared with co-planners.