What is a memorial service?
A memorial service is a ceremony to remember and celebrate somebody's life. It can be very similar to a traditional funeral or it can be unconventional and quirky. The main difference is that whereas funerals are usually held within a few days or weeks of a person's death, a memorial service can be held months or even a year or more later. And while a funeral almost always involves some kind of coffin and includes a committal - where mourners say goodbye to their loved one's remains and 'commit' them to be cremated or buried - a memorial service does not.
In a memorial service, the person is remembered as they were in life, often with photographs, stories, personal tributes and even videos or sound recordings. You can also bring along a loved one's ashes to a memorial service, or some other reminder of them - such as an item of clothing.
Whereas the planning of a funeral ceremony can be overwhelmingly difficult for some families as they struggle to make rushed decisions at the same time as processing their grief and shock, memorial services can be altogether more positive. With a little more space and freedom, many families find this is the perfect way to honour and celebrate their loved one in their own time and on their own terms.
Where can we hold a memorial service?
Because memorial ceremonies don't include the committal element of a funeral, you have absolute freedom about where they take place and what form they take. You could hold a memorial ceremony indoors or outdoors, at your own home, at a venue such as a pub, restaurant or hotel or even somewhere really unusual that meant something to your loved one - such as a butterfly house, a beach or a forest.
What can we do at a memorial?
At a memorial service you have absolute freedom to celebrate and remember your loved one in any way you choose. Whereas crematoria have strict rules about timings, music and health and safety practices, if you choose a private venue, you'll be limited only by your agreement with the venue's owners and of course the law of the land. In practice this means that a memorial service can be much longer than a funeral, can include food and drink, as many guests as you want and a much wider range of rituals, tributes and celebrations. You can honour your loved one in any way you choose - from a scattering of ashes ceremony or a tree planting to anything at all that reflects what was special about that person - from song and dance, to a celebratory football match!
If you'd like to plan a really unique and creative memorial ceremony, do get in touch with me and I'll help you to think through your options and work out what would be best for you.
When a much-loved colleague dies, their team-members can feel as if they've been left with a gaping hole and they really need an opportunity to come together and begin to process their feelings. Often a whole workplace can be hugely affected by the loss of a well-known colleague. While many families are hugely appreciative when their loved one's colleagues attend the funeral service, others choose to keep the funeral private - or it may not be practical for all of the deceased's colleagues to attend a funeral. It can be really helpful in these circumstances to arrange a separate workplace memorial ceremony - an opportunity for colleagues to support each other in their grief, talk about the person they have lost and celebrate their life.
If you'd like to arrange a workplace memorial, I can work with you to help you to plan an event that shows your love and appreciation of the colleague you have lost in a style that reflects your company ethos and values.
Memorial Prices - from £400
This price covers unlimited contact with you to design and plan a unique memorial ceremony to reflect your love for the person you have lost and to celebrate and honour their individuality. Together we'll plan the full script, including a eulogy and as many tributes and additional elements as you want. I'll continue to edit/re-write the draft script until you are 100% happy with everything we've written.
You will receive five copies of your script, beautifully hand-bound as life story books (and you can order additional copies for a small extra charge).
Typically families/friends organise their own memorial ceremonies and so I offer the practical support and advice you'll need to make sure your ceremony goes without a hitch - for example I can design and arrange printing of your order of service, liaise with your venue staff to make sure everything you've got planned is prepared for and, if necessary, I can provide a high quality PA system so that everyone's voices can be heard and we can include live or pre-recorded music in your ceremony.
My memorial service fee covers everything from the preparation of your ceremony, right through to officiating your memorial at a time and place* of your choosing.
*travel expenses may apply if your venue more than 40 miles away from my home in East Cheshire.