1. Determine when and where the memorial service will be held
The date, time, and location of the memorial service should be determined as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. Family and friends should be notified of the service details as soon as they are finalized.
2. Notify family and friends of the date, time, and location of the memorial service
Family and friends should be notified through whatever contact information is available. Email, text message, social media, phone call, or in person are all acceptable means of notification.
3. Choose a officiant or celebrant for the service
The officiant or celebrant can be a friend or family member, or someone from a religious organization. They will lead the service and may also perform any ceremonies or readings that are desired.
4. Select readings, music, and other elements to be included in the service
Readings can be poems, scriptures, or other pieces that are meaningful to the deceased or to those mourning their loss. Music can be anything from classical pieces to contemporary songs. Other elements could include eulogies, remembrances, or personal stories about the deceased.
5. Write an obituary or eulogy
The obituary is a brief summary of the deceased’s life that will be published in newspapers or online. The eulogy is a more personal speech that can be given at the memorial service by a friend or family member. It is often written by the person who delivers it.
6. Plan a reception (if desired)
A reception can be a way for friends and family to gather after the memorial service and share memories of the deceased. Receptions can be held at a funeral home, church, or other venue. Food and drink may be served, or attendees may bring their own snacks and drinks.
7. Make funeral arrangements (if needed)
If the death has resulted in a funeral being necessary, those arrangements will need to be made. This could include choosing a casket or urn, selecting pallbearers, arranging transportation for the body, and planning any memorial services afterwards.
8. Order flowers or other memorial gifts
Flowers are a common way to commemorate a death. They can be sent to the funeral home before the service, placed at the gravesite during burial services, or given to mourners after the memorial service. Other memorial gifts could include charitable donations in the deceased’s name, or planting a tree or shrub in their memory.
9. Create a program for the service
A program for the memorial service can be created using a word processing program, graphic design software, or online template. It should list the order of events, as well as the names of those who will be participating.
10. Take care of any other details as needed
There may be other details to take care of depending on the specific circumstances. This could include making travel arrangements for out-of-town attendees, ordering food or drink for the reception, or renting audio-visual equipment for the service.