Whether you're planning your own funeral arrangements or you're tasked with arranging for a loved one's, one of the first choices you'll need to make is whether to have a funeral or a memorial service. Many people think of these as interchangeable terms, but there are some key differences. What are some of these similarities and differences? And what do they mean for your arrangements? Here's what you need to know.
How Are Funerals and Memorials Similar?
Although they have some variations, the goal of a funeral and a memorial is the same: to honor the deceased and allow family and friends to say goodbye. Funeral homes can make arrangements for both types of services, and they each can be personalized to reflect the personality and interests of the deceased.
How Are Funerals and Memorials Different?
The most obvious difference between funerals and memorials is whether or not the body is physically at the service. Funerals generally take place with the body present while memorials do not. When a person was cremated, the service is usually considered a memorial.
However, this distinction is not the only factor. Memorials are generally less solemn than funerals. Funerals usually include religious or military services, plenty of tradition, and a formal or preset procedure. Memorials tend to be looser. They may or may not include any religious elements or even a formal structure. Some are very reflective while others are a celebration of the person's life.
Finally, memorials can happen at any time. Because the body may be interred or cremated before the event, you can opt to hold more than one memorial. Or the memorial could take place weeks or months later, depending on the needs of the family and the circumstances of the deceased. Funerals have a set time limit, especially within certain religious beliefs.
When Might You Choose Each?
There is no right or wrong answer to which type of service is right for you. Certainly, if the body is not present (or the family doesn't feel it should be present), your service will be a memorial. Memorials are also a good choice for people who were not particularly religious or traditional in their personal beliefs. And some families hold a larger memorial at a later date after a private funeral.
Funerals are the default choice for many people, of course. The traditions, ceremony, and solemnity help many to feel that they have said a proper goodbye. Traditionally-minded families may benefit more from a funeral than from a more free-wheeling memorial. It also honors a person who appreciated these things.
Where Can You Learn More?
The best resource to help you decide which type of service to hold is an experienced funeral home. With their expertise and guidance, you'll soon make the best choice possible and be able to start moving forward. Make an appointment with a funeral home to learn more.Share
26 August 2022
My beloved paternal grandmother passed away almost 4 years ago. Before her death, this special woman suffered many months due to a fatal lung disease. After her passing, her large extended family wanted to celebrate her unique life with an elaborate funeral service. They chose to work with the funeral home staff to decorate the funeral venue with things she loved. Because she enjoyed fishing, a large floral arrangement in the shape of a fish was purchased. Also, the family bought a floral cross to illustrate her devotion to her faith. On this blog, you will discover how to work with a funeral home staff on decorations at the funeral service venue.