Reasons to Plan Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service

Planning your own funeral or memorial service can provide peace-of-mind to you and your family. By planning your service in advance you can design and specify the exact type of service you’d like, so that your friends and family celebrate you as you wish. And by letting your family know how you'd like your funeral or memorial service to be, they'll have less difficult and complicated decisions to make during a difficult emotional time.

How to personalize your funeral or memorial service

Virtually every element of your funeral or memorial service can personalized as much as you like, though you don't need to personalize every possible element in order to have the service be special. When planning the details of your service, think about the way you’d like the service to look, flow, and feel. Many people want their funerals to be celebrations of life rather than sad affairs, and to that end decide to have uplifting music and songs, colorful flowers, and inspirational readings. Other people want their funerals to highlight certain personal interests and achievements, and so ask eulogists to speak on specific topics or choose readings that focus on personal philosophies.

There are many personal elements of your funeral or memorial service that you can plan yourself, with the help of family and friends. You can also work with a funeral home to create the type of event that feels most special to you.

Elements of your funeral or memorial service that you can plan in advance

Many elements of a funeral or memorial service can be planned in advance. Some of the things you make decisions about in advance include:

Religious traditions

If you will be following any religious or cultural traditions, many core aspects of your service may be dictated by your customs. To learn more about the traditions and customs of a particular religion, see our articles on Religious Funeral Traditions or speak with your local religious leader.

Communicating with your family

One of the benefits of planning your service ahead of time is the relief that pre-planning can bring to your family. By planning some or all of the features of the service, or even by simply talking with your family about the kind of service you'd like to have, you can help take some of the pressure off of those who would otherwise have to plan the service during a difficult emotional time—and you can provide them with the information they need in order to honor and remember you in the ways you want.

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