Planning a funeral service can be overwhelming especially during a highly emotional time. Often, its not easy to plan and tend to all the details when you are grieving for your loved one. It can be very helpful to enlist the help of family members and close friends. Even if your family and friends are not located within close proximity of you, you can still delegate tasks that can be done from any location.
So how do you plan a funeral service by enlisting the help of family and close friends? What can family and friends do to help you plan the funeral service? You may hear this question asked as word is heard of your recent loss. More times than not, we may hear "What can I do to help?" By reaching out to hands who offer help during the labor intensive plans of a funeral, it can lighten your load and assist you so your task list is not overflowing.
The following is a list of tasks that are both practical and ceremonial that can be distributed and delegated among family members and close friends. If they are not possible due to proximity, select ones that can be done from a remote location.
Practical Task List
- Answer the telephone and provide information on the funeral or memorial service.
- Setup and manage a phone chain for the death announcement. A phone chain helps get the notice out without having one specific person assigned to make numerous phone calls.
- Write letters to distant relatives regarding the death or passing. You may also want to send them a funeral or memorial program
- Keep track of the senders of flowers and donations so you send out thank you notes
- Arrange for flowers or other decorations at the funeral home, church, or other funeral location
- Help arrange for a charity to receive donations if you are requesting they donate in lieu of flowers being sent
- Help find and handle arrangements for a location for the memorial service
- Arrange for food to be prepared and delivered to the bereaved family during the week before and the week after the service.
- Help setup photographs or a memory display table
- Help write the obituary for the deceased
- Help select people or person who will deliver the funeral eulogy
- Handle the logistics of the service such as
- Create or delegate the task to create and produce the funeral programs
- Coats (where people will put them or check in their coats)
- Chairs (will there be chairs furnished by the location or will you need to rent and bring chairs in)
- Parking (will there be ample parking at the service)
- Police chaperone (will you have a police escort from the service to the gravesite?)
- Podium & Microphone (placed at the front of the room for speakers and officiant)
- Music and a system to play it on
- Musicians for any musical arrangements
- Fees and honoraria to the officiant and musicians
- Arrange for transportation
- Arrange accommodations for out of town guests and relatives
- Special Roles Task List
- Pallbearer to carry the coffin into the service and out to the funeral vehicle
- Usher to help seat guests
- Speaker for short readings, poems, scripture verses
By breaking up the task list and enlisting all the help you can, you will find that planning a memorial service will not be as overwhelming as taking it on all yourself. You can get emotionally drained carrying it alone, it will be worth the effort in the long run for helpers to assist you. People usually are willing to help and may want to pay tribute or honor the deceased by their service to you.