What Should the Memorial Service Program Include?
If your loved one had pre-planned his or her service, this part is easy. Advanced planning provides an outline to design the components of a memorial service ranging from selecting the songs or readings to suggesting an invitation list. If you don’t have that road map to follow, best to always keep in mind the personality and wishes of your loved one throughout the planning process.
Music is an important component of most services. Songs may be sung by the entire group or by a featured soloist. Choosing songs can be a satisfying and cathartic process. Hymns, songs or instrumental pieces represent your loved one; there are no set requirements as to how many or where the songs are placed in the service. The same is for readings. They can be religious in nature, poems or something written by a family member or friend.
Many memorial services include some type of video or slide presentation. There are professional companies that can assist with these or maybe a family member or friend has the knowledge and willingness to take on the project. The presentation can be a part of the service program or simply run on a loop at the beginning or end. If the presentation is part of the program take care on the length, keeping it to less than five minutes.
When considering who to invite to the service, you first need to decide if the service is private or public. If private, you’ll need to personally notify all those you wish to attend. For public services, it is up to you the find the best ways to let others know about the service. You may want to contact organizations, clubs or groups that your loved one was involved in, including his or her church if the service is not being held at the church. Many people post information on social media as well. Word of mouth will usually take care of getting the information out.
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