After a loved one dies, funeral planning may feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time doing it. It’s understandable if you feel lost and confused because you could also be in mourning. Even professional event planners may find it hard to know where to start if they have to plan for the memorial services of a loved one. If you’re in this situation, fret not because there are many thoughtful ways to celebrate the life of a departed loved one.
You can create a meaningful funeral service that will touch the hearts of the bereaved family and friends. When you customize elements like music or eulogy, you can also honor the life that was lost with grace and show how the dead made an impact on people. Personalization of the funeral experience is key to celebrating a unique life and making it a memorable experience for all the attendees. Consider the following suggestions to help you personalize a funeral service for a loved one’s final tribute or for advanced planning for your own.
Choose The Music Playlist
Music is considered a universal language because it triggers memories and brings an onslaught of emotions. Choosing the appropriate funeral songs for the services could help those in mourning find peace and healing. After all, music has the power to say what words cannot.
Consider using music as a tool to bring out people’s emotions and thoughts. To help you create a meaningful playlist, take note of the following suggestions:
- Incorporate songs that were significant to the departed no matter the genre
- Assess if you’re using recordings or a live band
- Ask musically gifted family or friends to play or sing a tribute song
- Religious families can opt to incorporate appropriate praise songs and hymns
Select the Readings for the Service
Incorporate a meaningful facet of your service by choosing the readings. Poignant words may be expressed through touching funeral poems, healing bible verses, thoughtful prose, or inspiring quotes that can help the bereaved come to terms with their emotions. Curating a reading list that the deceased loves will help you honor their unique spirit.
Beautifully written words can also add a deeper dimension to your final farewell to the dead. Here are some suggestions for inspiration:
- Utilize quotes from a favorite novel, show, play, or even movie.
- Those who believe in a particular faith can opt for passages in their holy book
- Consider inspirational quotes and poems
- You can also read a letter for your deceased loved one
- Use past essays or letters of the deceased
- Write a new message for the service
Create a Meaningful Viewing Experience
Viewing is the last chance for people to pay their respects to the deceased. It’s an avenue where mourners can come to share collective grief while showing sympathy and support for each other. Many people appreciate seeing the body for the last time since it could be the first step towards accepting the reality of death.
Hence, if you opt for a viewing, you must also prepare the elements in the room where the body will be. You can make it simple or more elaborate depending on your budget and preferences. Alternatively, you can also host a visitation without the body to receive and give support to one another. Whether you hold a viewing or visitation, remember that this is your final chance to tell the story of the bereaved. Here are elements you can incorporate to make it more special.
- Display various photos spanning the birth to present
- Use mementos or special items that the deceased loved, like books, paintings, figurines, etc.
- Provide memory cards and a guest book so guests can write something
- Have special souvenirs made so that all the guests can take home something as a remembrance
Pick Who Will Give the Eulogy
At the heart of every funeral service is the eulogy because these speeches say a lot about the deceased. Eulogies encapsulate the life of the person, including achievements, advocacies, hobbies, and the like. Hence, it’s crucial to select two to four people who can give a meaningful eulogy for the deceased. As much as you want a lot of people to speak, you must also consider time constraints.
You can choose a clergy person, family member, friend, or even colleague. The idea is that the one giving the speech will take some time to decide what they want to say. After all, the eulogy is also a way for the mourners to take comfort, as they remember the significance that the deceased played in their lives. You can ask the one giving the speeches to:
- Tell a poignant story or memory with the deceased
- Share a favorite joke or a inspiring quote
- Bring items that the dead cherished as an example
- Speak about how the deceased inspired them or impacted other people’s lives
Decorate the Venue With Meaningful Things
When you’re planning a funeral service, it’s important to pay special attention to the venue with symbols that express love and convey whatever other messages you want to impart to the attendees. Common symbols often include selecting flowers, choosing an appropriate color, lighting candles, and displaying other mementos that honor your loved one.
This gathering, whether it’s held in a funeral home, religious hall, or event center, is a chance for family and friends to convene, show support, and share stories. Putting personalized touches can spark memories and offer comfort. You can do the following to make the funeral more meaningful:
- Ask everyone to wear the favorite color of the deceased
- Have a picture of the deceased as the focal point
- Include religious relics and symbols (if appropriate)
- Display cherished mementos and possessions as conversation starters
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you plan a wonderful funeral that celebrates the life of the deceased. Coming together at a funeral is a healthy way to manage grief. Paying attention to these elements could help people on their path to healing and acceptance.