A Memorial Service is a ceremony held to celebrate and remember a loved one with their body not present at the service. Memorial services take place after the body has been buried or cremated. During the ceremony loved ones may deliver eulogies, say prayers, sing songs or read passages from scriptures.
What is the difference between a memorial and a funeral service?
One commonly misunderstood purpose in regards to the service of a loved one is the difference between a Funeral Service and Memorial Service.
A Funeral Service is a ceremony held to honour a deceased person with their body present. A Memorial Service is a service held to honour a deceased person with their body not present. If a person has been cremated and a service is held with the loved ones remains present it is considered a Memorial Service. If a burial occurs prior to the service for a loved one, the service is considered a Memorial Service. A simpler way to remember is if a loved one’s body is at the service it is a Funeral Service, if the loved one’s body is not present the service is considered a Memorial Service.
Planning a Memorial Service
A Memorial Service is an occasion for family and friends to show their respects following the loss of a loved one. A Memorial Service is a ceremony for the mourners to honour their loved one, but no burial or cremation is involved.
Memorial Services can be solemn occasions, however they can also be seen as a celebration of a loved one’s life. A Memorial Service can take place more than once and any time after death. Planning a memorial is an occasion that can be organised with no formal guidelines with loved ones deciding on how they wish to honour their late loved one’s life.
Prior to making arrangements for a memorial it would be wise to check your loved one’s will and see if they have left any instructions for a Memorial. If their instructions are quite difficult to follow, e.g. with Covid restrictions, you are not legally required to follow the directions, however their requests may give you inspiration and help you to arrange the memorial they would have wished for.
Memorial Services are a very important time for loved ones who are grieving. Some people may wish to celebrate the deceased, while others may wish to spend the Memorial in silent thought. What is essential is that you include others in the decision so that each person feels comfortable with the ceremony.
At Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries NSW we understand the importance of having a memorial for your dearest. A memorial is a special time to celebrate and honour a beloved family member or friend, deciding the time, venue, number of mourners are all decision that we can assist you with and to help you plan and organise an important event.