There are many delicate emotions tied up with a funeral or memorial service. It is an intimate and mournful occasion that deserves respect and careful planning. Sometimes it helps when a person has already pre-planned a funeral service, so loved ones are not left choosing what they think their family member or dear one would have wanted. While many traditional services feature black clothing, gentle music, and eulogies, many other options can turn the day into one of sweet memory. Consider these memorable funeral ideas as a starting point.
What Are Ways to Make a Funeral Personal & Memorable?
Showcase a Hobby or Passion
Everyone has something they enjoy, and that defines who they are to some degree. It could be a special collection of action figures, or perhaps the person was an avid quilter or carpenter. Having a display area at the service can help highlight this passion and celebrate what gave your loved one joy in life. If there are many items that you also need to find a home for, such as if your dear one owned many books, you might also consider letting the attendees take something home with them if that is appropriate. One increasingly popular option is to give seeds in a specially printed packet that attendees can take home and plant in remembrance.
Select a Theme or Color
Do you or your loved one have a favorite color scheme? Rather than dressing the attendees and the room in dark colors, consider including in your invite an instruction to wear a specific color to the service. You can also arrange to have flowers in the same color or theme. Keep in mind that it does not have to be a color. The theme could be a favorite saying, a favorite movie, or something to do with a hobby.
Provide Memorial Stone Messages
Sometimes it is nice to provide something for the friends and family members of the person of honor to write a message. One way to do this is to collect river rocks and have them available on a table with markers. The people attending the service may write a message on the rocks. What you do with them is ultimately up to you. They could possibly be buried with your loved one or scattered at a favorite location, such as a fishing spot or on the side of a hiking trail.
Create Memorial Trinkets From Ashes, Flowers, or Other Materials
There are a variety of memorable ways you can use the ashes of your loved one in cremation service, depending on preferences. While some people prefer their ashes to be scattered in a specific location or interred at a cemetery, you can also incorporate the ashes into jewelry using resin or some other media. You could also put some ashes in a locket and give one to each person present.
You may also find yourself with an abundance of flowers coming in for the service as many friends or family members may purchase some. You can preserve these flowers as jewelry using resin or translucent clay to bake the petals. You can then use the resin or clay to create beads for jewelry or just give a single bead to the attendees. Another take-home gift idea could be to make memorial candles from the flowers or ashes.
Make a Memorial Photo Board
This can be done with a large poster board or with multiple cork boards. The idea is to include photos throughout the person’s life. It could be chronological, showing pictures from youth through adulthood. You can choose to fill the entire board with labeled photos for viewers to enjoy. Another approach is to include photos in some areas of the board but leave enough blank space that service attendees can add their own messages. You could lay out small pieces of paper or index cards and have pens and markers available for each person to fill out the paper or card with a personalized message. The messages could then be added to the board. You could even frame it after the service to preserve it as a treasured wall decor.
Compile a Playlist of Your Loved One’s Favorite Music
Many funeral services feature soft organ music in the background and a few songs that are sung during the service itself. However, you can choose to have any type of music played at your service. If your loved one enjoyed a specific artist or has requested that a particular song be played at the funeral, you can let the director know. You could even create an entire playlist of the songs the celebrated individual enjoyed in life.
Choose a Unique Procession Option
You may be familiar with the procession when the hearse escorts the coffin to the cemetery. A hearse is traditional, but it is no longer the only option available. Some funeral homes and directors have other vehicles available for the procession. You should consider asking your director if they can accommodate unique escorts, such as:
- Bicycle hearses
- Motorcycle hearses
- Carriage hearses
Keep in mind that not all procession options may be available everywhere. However, letting your director know what your wishes are for the service is helpful. The director can look into making your dream service a reality.
Decorate the Coffin
One unique way to let all of the attendees send off your loved one with a special message is to let them write that message directly on the coffin. This may best be achieved with a white coffin, and you could supply the markers for everyone. Let the guests write a message on the coffin before it is transported to the cemetery.
Sponsor a Charity or Scholarship
Flowers are often in abundance at memorial services, and you may not know what to do with all of them afterward. While you can donate them to others to use after, you may also wish to request that your guests do something besides purchase flowers. You could sponsor a charity for a funeral service and have your guests donate to that instead. Choose an organization that held significance for your loved one. Another idea is to create a scholarship fund. You can then present the scholarship to a student at a specific school in your loved one’s name.
Hold a Celebration
If your loved one really enjoyed life, maybe the funeral service would be better served in a party format. You could request guests to come dressed up in costumes of their choosing or that follow a specific theme. The party could feature a talent show, gift exchange, a band, or anything else the person of honor would enjoy. You could even arrange food to be there either potluck style and have each guest bring a dish or hire a caterer.
Learn More About Funeral Planning from Robinson Funeral Home
There are many beautiful ways to celebrate the life of someone you care about deeply. These memorable funeral ideas offer a refreshing change from a traditional service. Learn more about planning a unique service for yourself or a loved one by contacting Robinson Funeral Home online or by phone at (864) 859-4001 or by filling out our online form.
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