Personalizing A Funeral Service
Personalizing a funeral or memorial service can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for the surviving family members. It helps focus the thoughts of those who participate on the person whose life they wish to honor and celebrate which can begin the healing process. There are many ways a funeral service can be tailored or personalized. You can go as elaborate or simple as you like from displaying a personal item during the viewing to altering the traditional form of the service itself. Here are some great examples of ways that you can personalize a service for your loved one:
- PHOTOS: Photographs may be individually displayed such as in a portrait or poster, or placed within a scrapbook or album. Some funeral homes provide a memory board, where your hardcopy photos can be mounted and displayed during the wake, service and reception or repast.
- MEMORABILIA: Items relevant to the life of the deceased may be used for decoration. For example, if he was a sports fan, his favorite sports memorabilia can be displayed, photos of him participating in the sport, an old jersey or piece of uniform clothing, helmet are all acceptable to put on display.
- MUSIC: You do not have to play the same traditional "funeral music". You can include your loved one's favorite songs and composer. If the persona was a musician, their instrument can be played by a friend or just displayed. If your loved one enjoyed listening to a certain singer such as Elvis, it is perfectly acceptable to play his songs throughout the service and reception.
- READINGS, SCRIPTURE and POEMS: You can incorporate special readings or poetry within the service or write in inside your printed memorials. If you know of any that were particularly meaningful to your loved one, you can easily include it whether its written or presented aloud, it will give it an extra special touch.
- TRIBUTES: This is also referred to as a time of sharing where family, friends, and acquaintances share special memories and stories. This is given as an open mic time for all attendees but sometimes a time limit is given to allow for more people to share.
- COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION: If the deceased was a member of a particular community or organization, fraternity, or group, members of that group may choose to wear or display an emblem or a sash to show their respect and support.
- MEMORIALS KEEPSAKES: Purchasing a custom created memorial keepsake can also be displayed at the service which gives it a multi purpose item. For example, a casket panel insert can be personalized with a photo and special quote. Then before burial can be removed if desired for the family to keep as a memorial portrait. You can do this for virtually anything that is used within the service such as candles, buttons, banners, or memory blankets which are often displayed and hung like a banner.
These are just a few ways and examples on how to personalize a service so that it gives greater meaning to the surviving family. It also gives proper representation of the deceased person's life and interests. You can consult with your funeral director to customize such a service and convey your desires and needs. They may also be able to make helpful suggestions for creating and personalizing a memorable service. In addition to personalizing a ceremony or the service itself, you can also create it within the wake or visitation as well as the gravesite.
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