Planning a Memorial Service

I recently lost my elderly parents and we're having a memorial service. I've never planned a memorial service before. Does anyone have any suggestions for what worked or didn't work well for your family? We've many family members coming in out of town and I can feel myself getting overwhelmed. Ideas for making a program for the service; an inexpensive keepsake; ways to make family feel involved; etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


By Maggie from VA

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April 20, 20090 found this helpful

When my son was killed, I too, was overwhelmed. This is a normal feeling to have during a time such as this. I think you could let everyone help decide on music, maybe a favorite song or hymn, maybe pick out photographs of your parents to show at the service. I have a poem that was given to me, that I'd like to share with you. You could print it for a keepsake to share. You could also make a "Memory Jar". Just place a nice jar at the service, and write "Memory Jar" either on the jar or beside it. Place a stack of small note size (3"x3") papers, along with a pen, for family and friends to jot down a rememberance or a memory of your parents. This will be your "keepsake".



When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears,
Be thankful you have many more years.

I give to you my love. You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness...
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a time that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear.

And then when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and say..."Welcome Home".

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April 25, 20090 found this helpful

When my Dad died, we had a memorial service. We had posters filled with pictures of him. We had a table set up with many.many of the things he liked candy, food, games, etc. We also had a book for people to write their thoughts.


I ordered small sandwiches and other people brought dessert, fruit, cheese, etc. There was a brief religious service and then people went into a room with chairs, tables and the food and pics and sat, talked, etc. It worked out very well. Any questions, email me.

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April 25, 20090 found this helpful

My mother in law recently died. Her children set up a board on an easel the funeral director provided and put pictures of her, everyone loved it. Also they took a bunch of pics of her and put them on a cd with pretty scenery and music. I then took that cd and bought 30 dvd-r's and copied it for everyone to have as a keepsake. Only cost me 15 dollars for the dvd-r's. And whatever they charged at the funeral home. Actually I think the first one was free, then you had to pay for extras.

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