All You Need To Know About Memorial Services

A memorial service is a ceremony for memorializing someone who has died that takes place after the body has been buried or cremated. Memorial services can take place any time after the death, from a week after the death to a year after.

Memorial service location

Memorial services may be held in any location. Many people choose locations with personal significance, such as a favorite beach, park, or family home, or locations that can accommodate a large group, such as a religious place of worship, a favorite restaurant, a banquet hall, or other event space.

If you will be following any religious traditions, you may want to hold the memorial service at your place of worship. The religious leaders there can help you plan and coordinate the memorial service.

Memorial service features

There is no formal structure to a memorial service. As with a traditional funeral, people may participate in the memorial service in many different ways, including delivering readings or prayers, singing songs or playing musical instruments, or sharing a memory of the person who died. If you will having a religious service, there may be a religious structure that you'll follow.

Post-memorial service reception

After the memorial service, it is common to have a reception, which can be held at a funeral home, religious place of worship, a family home, or another location that can accommodate all those who attended the service.

To learn more about planning a post-service reception, see our article Post-Funeral Reception

When to hold the memorial service

Memorial services may be held at any time that is convenient or significant to you. Many people hold memorial services in the weeks following the death, and also hold memorial services on the first anniversary of the death.

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