Personalizing A Funeral Service

Jun 28th 2018

Personalizing a funeral service for a loved one can be very rewarding for the grieving family members. Although some religions have a funeral ritual they follow, they are able to let the family personalize the service to some extend. Customizing to the deceased focuses on the person whose life is being honored and celebrated which also begins the healing process.

We've noted a few ways to personalize such as service, whether the deceased has been cremated or buried, there are still a variety of ways from displaying personal items during the viewing to altering traditional forms of services. Some examples to personalize a service include:

  • Pictures - These may be displayed individually or within a group or album. You can opt to display a memory board, where there are multiple photos mounted.
  • Memorabilia - Display items related to the life of the deceased that are relevant which you can use for decoration. For example, military medals, uniform, hat, military IDs tags and official military photo.
  • Music - Play songs from the favorite genre or artist loved by the deceased. It can be in the form of instrumentals or with vocals. For example, my Aunt loved Elvis Presley's songs. At her funeral service, Elvis' songs were played at the beginning, during and end of the service.
  • Tributes - There can be a time set during the order of service where participants in attendance can speak and share special memories.
  • Printed Program Keepsakes - You can create printed keepsakes and distribute items such as prayer cards or funeral programs that is an extension of the life of the deceased. You do this by adding photos into these distribution items and picking a theme background that is relevant to their life.
  • Community Participation - If the deceased was a member of a community organization or public group, special member uniform or pins can be worn to show respect for the deceased and support the family.
  • These are only a few things you can do to provide greater meaning to the family that is representative of the deceased life. It is recommend that families consult with their funeral director to develop suitable additions or service enhancements that will better celebrate their loved one's life.

    Variations to an already established ritual can be made if requested. At a graveside committal service, generally the funeral director will sprinkle sand over the casket or urn while the officiant says "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." You can alter this by sprinkling a handful of earth or sand from the birthplace or special place of the deceased. This often can provide an important emotional connection and meaning for the family.

    It is also a good idea to consult with your church pastor or clergy about any additions or slight modifications you would like to have to ensure that it is within the religious belief systems of the religion.